Yu Darvish Introduces Himself With Authority

Darvish befuddles the Yankees in 2-0 win

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    Darvish was all the Rangers needed on Tuesday.

    When Yu Darvish's name came up this offseason, it was hard to find anyone around the Yankees enthused about the prospect on bidding for his services.

    The reasons cited for their lack of interest in the best right-hander in the Japanese league rarely mentioned Darvish. They mentioned Hideki Irabu and Kei Igawa, pitchers whose only similarity to Darvish was their native country, but that was enough to make people turn up their noses at Darvish.

    We imagine there will be a bit of revisionist history in the form of calls to WFAN bemoaning Brian Cashman's inability to sign Darvish from some of those quarters after Tuesday night's game. That's what happens when the Yankees are made to look like a Single-A team by a pitcher in full control of his powers in a 2-0 victory.

    Given what they were able to do with Jeremy Lin's last name, one imagines that our local tabloid writers feel the same way. The prospect of what they could do with Yu over the course of his career truly boggles the mind.

    Darvish struck out 10 and walked just two, a huge improvement over his first three starts, and pitched into the ninth inning before getting lifted after a Nick Swisher single. He threw five pitches and threw them all for strikes in a masterful performance that makes you wonder just how good he's going to be when he figures out this whole life in the big leagues thing.

    It's hard to do much more than tip your cap, especially when the Yankees got a pretty terrific start of their own from Hiroki Kuroda. Darvish's countryman -- the game was televised live in the wee small hours of the Japanese morning -- allowed one of the league's best lineups just two runs over 6.2 innings to continue his trend of alternating rough starts with very good ones.

    He made two mistakes all night. Kuroda allowed a leadoff home run to Ian Kinsler in the first inning and he walked Elvis Andrus with two outs in the bottom of the third inning.

    The Andrus walk was bad because Kuroda was ahead 0-2 on a player who couldn't hurt him with power, making it hard to understand why he started nibbling around the corners instead of attacking him. Andrus stole second and scored on a Josh Hamilton single, but, as it turned out, it was nothing more than an insurance run.

    Even with those caveats, no one is going to complain if you get that night from Kuroda every time out. If the Rangers get that performance from Darvish every time, though, it just might make the third time the charm when it comes to the World Series.

    Josh Alper is a writer living in New York City. You can follow him on Twitter and he is also a contributor to Pro Football Talk.