By Will Martin
This was a term once used for obscure bands of the 70’s and 80’s who had songs we’d still be boogeying to long after the band or the trend moved on.
Did anyone really think or want to believe that 35 years later we’d still be dancing our fannys off to the Knack’s ‘My Sharona’, or that sappy Terry Jacks tune from 40 years ago ‘Seasons In The Sun’, or even Kajagoogoo 1983 for ‘Too Shy’?
Thankfully to use the sporty vernacular this term shall apply to the pitcher with the great command of his stuff albeit coming up a bit short on making history.
Case in point-Yu Darvish-the current ace of the Texas Rangers who is finally getting some run support when he pitches.
Before you get all broken up over his lack of luck when flirting with perfection consider the following. We know that Nolan Ryan set the standard for no-hitters with seven. The Express also fired off 12 1-hitters (just like an earlier era fireballer Bob Feller) in addition to 18 2-hitters.
Not bad for a 27 year career.
Should Yu Darvish be able to play that long no telling what he might come up with numerically. Already twice in his young pro career has he flirted with perfection. April 2, 2013 at Houston he was one out away before Marwin Gonzalez fired a clean single up the middle.
Earlier this night Darvish was looking to pick up where he left off on that April night at home going well into the 7th inning with a huge comfortable lead before a moment of angst would rear its ugly head.
Two outs, and 20 straight batters retired. David Ortiz would lift a fly ball into short right field against an overshift, Rookie Rougned Odor and Alex Rios ran for the ball before both each stopped inexplicably as the ball fell for what should have been a hit.
Or was it?
Scorekeeper Steve Weller ruled Rios got an error on the play based on a rule some were unaware of. This from section 1012 (a) (1):
It is not necessary that the fielder touch the ball to be charged with an error. If a ground ball goes through a fielder’s legs or a fly ball falls untouched and, in the scorer’s judgment, the fielder could have handled the ball with ordinary effort, the official scorer shall charge such fielder with an error. For example … the official scorer shall charge an outfielder with an error if such outfielder allows a fly ball to drop to the ground if, in the official scorers judgment, an outfielder at that position making ordinary effort would have caught such fly ball.
And thus another chance at a complete game, the first by Darvish was not to be due to the high pitch count in the 9th inning (126). After a season of getting no run support the good news is that in two starts for Darvish, Texas has pounded out 22 runs. Darvish with the win improves to 3-1 and a 2.33 ERA.
Next Wednesday in Houston looks like there will be a rematch with Darvish and Scott Feldman. That matchup provided a memorable pitchers duel when the Astros visited Arlington back on April 11th.
Rather than be mad at David Ortiz for doing what your supposed to do (breaking up a no-no) ponder this: If your star pitcher has himself a stellar performance in the making see if you can keep his pitch count under 100 for that final inning for a chance at history and a complete game!
Two things that can only elude Yu Darvish for so long. Yes Yu can, Yu gotta believe. A nice win on a warm humid Friday night in Arlington leading into Mother’s Day weekend. And a rare home win at that!