Archive for the ‘Yu Darvish’ Category

Los Angeles Angels Mike Trout hits a home run as Texas Rangers starting pitcher Yu Darvish and catcher Geovany Soto watch in Arlington, Texas

Did you know Mike Trout is a great hitter? It’s true, he can really swing the bat. Yu Darvish is a very good pitcher in his own right. He struck out more batters than any other big league pitcher last year, 277 in total. Over the last two seasons, hitters mustered only a .207 average against Darvish, which is better than all but six starters in baseball.

Mike Trout is not “the league”, of course. As such, Mike Trout gets more hits and draws more walks than even the best hitters. He hits bad pitchers and good pitchers and generally does the stuff that makes some people sick of reading his name*. While hitters as a collective turn into Drew Stubbs when they face Yu Darvish, Mike Trout turns into…Mike Trout.

Against Darvish, Trout has four home runs, six walks and nine total hits in 34 plate appearances. Of course, a 34 PA sample isn’t much to go on as far as predicting the future. But Trout’s skills and abilities provide a difficult challenge for any pitcher, even one as skilled as Yu Darvish. Luckily for Rangers fans, Darvish is not taking the manhandling sitting down. This year, Darvish plans on making adjustments and attacking Mike Trout in a whole new way.

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MLB: Oakland Athletics at Texas Rangers

There is more than one way to skin a cat. There is no single formula for success as a starting pitcher in the big leagues. Some pitchers are great strikeouts pitchers, some pitchers possess pinpoint control, some just have a knack for keeping runs off the board.

The last zillion years of baseball research shows that walks are bad and home runs are bad, too. Strikeouts are good because they minimize damage. For a while, we considered strikeout to walk ratio to be the mark of a good pitcher. Upon further reflection, maybe a greater strikeout differential is better than a ratio. A guy who strikes out nine and walks three batters per nine innings gets my attention more quickly than somebody who strikes three out and walks one.

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Not exactly sure where this GIF came from but it popped up on twitter (via @MindofStan) and it is far, far too cool not to share. It is all (or five, who knows how many pitches he actually throws) of Yu Darvish‘s wild assortment of offerings played at once. The internet is truly a magical place.

I’m reminded of a Mark Teixeira quote about Roy Halladay‘s pitches, which I will paraphrase here – they all start at the same place but move in every odd direction. That’s what’s going on here but you can see it with your eyes, man. Crazy.

If Yu Darvish is throwing the lion’s share of these pitches for strikes: good luck! I suppose that’s pretty much what he’s doing right now, as his near 40% K rate and 1.20 FIP would demonstrate. Yikes.

Update: looks like it was created by redditor and twitter dude DShep. Which is awesome.

Update #2! New GIF with pitch annotations. Amazing.

smiling yu

It was 26 up and 26 down for Yu Darvish tonight against the Houston Astros. Sure, they’re the Astros but Yu Darvish has something special goingt. He repeatedly threw his filthy slider in full counts (the rare time he ran a three-ball count, mind you) and had his way with the lowly American League neophytes. Good team or bad, nobody was touching Darvish tonight.

26 batters up, 26 batters down. 14 strikeouts, a boatload of swinging strikes – TWENTY-SEVEN, to be exact. After battling through the 8th inning, murmurs began to surface on twitter about Darvish’s pitch count. Dare Ron Washington pull his starter if his pitch count rose too high in the first outing of the year> Two very quick outs started Darvish’s ninth inning, quieting those concerns. So close, now…

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Texas Rangers v Kansas City Royals

You’ll see many decent analysts trot out the strikeout-to-walk ratio, and it’s a fine number. Strikeout three for every walk and you’re be valuable, no matter what. But we’re always trying to shave the margins in fantasy baseball, and one margin comes with that mathematical sign: don’t divide strikeouts by walks… subtract walks from strikeouts.

It’s as easy as an exercise in hypotheticals. Suppose you have two pitchers that strikeout three for every walk. One of them strikes out a third of the batters he sees and walks eleven percent. The other strikes out eighteen percent of the batters he sees, and walks six percent. You already know which one you want in fantasy, and it’s true in real life, too: the one with the elite strikeout rate is the one you want.

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Yu Darvish is set to be honoured with the construction of a museum in his native country of Japan. Gerry Fraley of the Dallas Morning News reports that planning is underway for a Darvish museum in the Hyogo prefecture, located in the southern part of the country. A Getting Blanked source described Hyogo as “the boonies”, so the Darvish museum may make for quite the attraction there. Darvish has just one MLB season to his credit, albeit an impressive one, but pitched marvelously for the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters over seven seasons.

So, we ask, what will be featured in a Yu Darvish museum? Well, probably a fair bit of memorabilia from his Japanese professional career. Likely some relics from the 2009 World Baseball Classic, too. I would wager that there will be an evolving section dedicated to his stateside career as well. Below are five items for a Yu Darvish museum that I just couldn’t live without.

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Much was made of Yu Darvish’s spectacular Spring start yesterday. Getting Blanked covered it with bated breath, as did just about every other media outlet on Earth. The consensus opinion was Darvish was dominant and will win multiple Cy Young awards, if not all the awards handed out between now and the end of his career.

Will Venable was the only Padres hitter to really touch one of Darvish’s divine offerings, banging a long double off the center field fence. After Darvish (through his interpretor) noted the ball might have been a little windblown, Venable went on the offensive.

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