Yu Darvish's assortment of pitches baffles Yankees
April, 25, 2012
By David Stein | ESPNDallas.com
ARLINGTON, Texas -- The variety of pitches Yu Darvish threw, the change in velocity, the movement -- whatever it was, the Yankees agreed that it was good.
After mixed reviews in his first three starts, Darvish left no doubt about his potential after shutting down baseball's best offense outside of Arlington in the Rangers' 2-0 win Tuesday night.
Darvish showed off his whole arsenal, going 8 1/3 scoreless innings with 10 strikeouts.
Even future Hall of Famer Derek Jeter said he hadn't seen anything quite like it.
"He has a lot of different pitches. We really didn't know what to expect," Jeter said. "He had the fastball, two-seamer, cutter, four-seamer, curveball, slider, change-up -- he's got pretty much everything."
Mark Teixeira went 0-for-4 on the night and said that nothing was working for the Yankees.
"We had a game plan, to make him throw strikes. He definitely did that," the former Ranger said. "If you try to be patient, you're down. If you tried to be agressive, it seemed like every pitch started in the zone and then moved out of the zone or around the zone. He just pitched great tonight."
The chorus sounded about the same from the rest of the Bronx Bombers.
When asked about comparing Darvish to other pitchers, Yankees manager Joe Girardi and most of the New York lineup said they hadn't seen a pitcher throw such a wide variety of pitches.
"He has so many different weapons he can go to," Girardi said. "When I look at him, I look at five or six [pitches]. You don't see a lot of guys that have that. It's a tough comparison."
Robinson Cano was 2-for-4 on the night, but said Darvish threw just about everything.
"Anybody that throws that many pitches? I don't remember," Cano said. "There isn't anybody that throws that many pitches."
Nick Swisher joked that the only good pitch he saw from Darvish was the changeup he hit for a single to knock Darvish out of the game. Swisher grounded out to Darvish in the sixth inning and in his two at-bats before that, he struck out swinging -- and he wasn't even close.
"He had good control of his pitches and he stayed down in the zone," Swisher said. "When a pitcher's consistently down there getting strikes, it's going to make for a tough day."
Darvish's performance was the longest scoreless outing by a Rangers pitcher against New York since Bob Tewksbury in 1995. Joe Nathan got a one-pitch save to complete the first shutout against the Yankees in Arlington since 2000.
"Hats off to him. It's the first time we've ever seen him," Swisher said of Darvish. "We'll be ready for him next time."
Next time won't come until August, which is when the Rangers and Yankees meet again.