SURPRISE, Arizona — The mere presence of Yu Darvish on the mound made this more than an ordinary day at camp for the Texas Rangers. In the spotlight: Texas Rangers hurler Yu Darvish fires a pitch during an intrasquad game on Friday in Surprise, Arizona. AP
Intrasquad games normally draw few fans with mostly scouts, wives, families, girlfriends and club officials in attendance. That was certainly not the case Friday. The stands were nearly full, people were standing and more than 100 members of the media attended. Most everyone came to see Darvish, the star who’s starting his first season with the two-time AL champions.
The 25-year-old, 196-cm righty did fine. He struck out Elvis Andrus while throwing a hitless third inning. The sound of a horde of cameras shuttering with every one of his 21 pitches drowned out the thud of the ball hitting the mitt of catcher Dusty Brown.
“My fastball life and the quality are not even close at all to season form,” Darvish said through a translator. “At this time every year my fastball quality and feel are not good. We still have a month to go.”
Darvish is scheduled to pitch again March 7 against San Diego. Instead of facing minor league hitters, as he had been doing in batting practice, Darvish faced the top of the Rangers’ batting order — Ian Kinsler, Andrus, Josh Hamilton and Adrian Beltre…
via Darvish impresses in intrasquad game | The Japan Times Online.