A crowd of 5,500 watched today as The Cleveland Indians hosted the reigning AL Champions at Goodyear Ballpark. Much of the crowd came to see Texas Ranger's pitcher, Yu Darvish, who made just his second start of the Spring. Yu Darvish is one of the biggest hyped players this year. Texas acquired the 25-year old Japanese native in January, signing him to a 6 year, $60 million deal.
Amongst those at the game were several media outlets, including several Japanese media members, ESPN, and MLB.TV. The crowd seemed very anxious to see what young Yu Darvish could do. So what did he do?
Darvish started the game with 2 walks, to Michael Brantley and Asdrubal Cabrera. Unfortunately, the Indians could not take advantage of such a gift, as both Brantley and Cabrera were thrown out trying to steal second. The bottom of the first ended with a Shin-Soo Choo strikeout.
In the bottom of the second, Travis Hafner popped out in foul territory to first base. Jose Lopez received the first hit off of Darvish with a broken bat single to center field. The Indians were retired in the second inning after Jason Kipnis and Fred Lewis both stuck out swinging.
The Indians finally got to Darvish in the third inning. Jack Hannahan led off the inning with a double to center field. Darvish then walked the next two batters, Lou Marson and Michael Brantley. With the bases loaded, Asdrubal Cabrera knocked Hannahan in with a single. Choo then grounded into a double play, which scored Lou Marson. Hafner ended the inning with a fly out to center field.
Yu Darvish pitched three innings today, giving up 2 earned runs on 3 hits. He also struck out 3 and walked 4. Overall, Darvish did not look impressive. His pitches seemed to ride high and he was wild at times. Even though he struck out 3 Indians in 3 innings, he did not seem like a dominating strike-out pitcher today. This was only his second start of the Spring. We look forward to seeing what he will do in the rest of the Spring and how he will pitch in the regular season as the Texas Ace.
Final Score: Texas Ranger 8 - Cleveland Indians 8 in 10 innings
Yu Darvish throws to Michael Brantley