Yu Darvish had his latest tuneup for his official major league debut last night against the Rockies and boy was he impressive.
Darvish threw 97 pitches and allowed three runs over six innings while striking out 11, walking one, throwing one wild pitch and hitting a batter. And this wasn’t some B-lineup the Rockies were running out there. He struck out Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez three times each. I’m going to guess that doesn’t happen often, if ever.
Through four spring starts, Darvish owns a 3.60 ERA and 21/8 K/BB ratio over 15 innings. He’s scheduled to make his official major league debut on April 9 against the Mariners.
For a few days, it looked like Aaron Judge was finally hitting his stride in the postseason. He was still striking out at a regular clip, piling more and more strikeouts atop the 16 he racked up in the Division Series, but he was mashing, too. He engineered a three-run homer during Game 3 of the Championship Series, followed by another blast and game-tying double in Game 4. His one-out double helped pad a five-run lead in Game 5, while his 425-footer off of Brad Peacock barely made a dent during a 7-1 loss in Game 6. And then Lance McCullers‘ curveball found and fooled him, as it did five of the 14 batters it met in Game 7:
The strikeout was Judge’s first of the evening and 27th since the start of the playoffs. No other major league batter has racked up that many strikeouts in a single postseason, though Alfonso Soriano’s 26-strikeout record in 2003 comes the closest. Within that record, Judge also collected three golden sombreros (four strikeouts in a single game), narrowly avoiding the dreaded platinum sombrero (five strikeouts in a single game).
It’s an unfortunate footnote to a spectacular year for the rookie outfielder, who decimated the competition with 52 home runs and 8.2 fWAR during the regular season and was a pivotal part of the Yankees’ playoff run. Thankfully, the image of McCullers’ curveball darting just under Judge’s bat won’t be the image that sticks with us for years to come. Instead, it’ll look something like this: