It was only one inning, and his first ever in professional play in America, but Yu Darvish looked quite impressive on Wednesday. Though the press box camera angle left a lot to be desired, it was easy to draw a few impressions from Darvish's first inning of work, in which he gave up a double and struck out two.
Darvish pitched solely out of the stretch, despite nobody being on base when he faced Cameron Maybin and Orlando Hudson. Darvish struck out Maybin, who was caught looking on what looked to be a slider.
Hudson then laced what looked like a fastball left high down the right field line for a double, but Darvish would leave him stranded at second.
Darvish then retired Jesus Guzman on a soft liner to center, before striking out Carlos Quentin swinging on an offspeed pitch to end the first inning.
ESPNews cut off video feed after the first four batters, but Darvish surrendered a double to Wil Veneable, before inducing two groundouts, including one back to him, getting the lead runner at the plate, before striking out John Baker to end the second, and his day.
It's only two innings, and I only actually saw four batters, but it's hard not to be impressed with Darvish. He looked poised and confident on the mound, and he kept the San Diego batters off balance with his off speed stuff. His fastball showed a little movement, and per the ESPN crew, he was hitting 92-94 on the gun with it.
It's clear the Rangers staff wanted Darvish to work on his mechanics, and likely, repeating his delivery and release point, having him pitch only out of the stretch. Still, Darvish looked plenty impressive in his Cactus League debut.
As I've said all along, results in spring training are really meaningless. Darvish, though, still impressed with his poise, delivery and stuff. It's tough not to buy into the excitement surrounding Darvish, and he should be a treat to watch this year.