Going into the bottom of the ninth inning, I had Eric Nadel on, and I have to say, I was getting waves of chills going over my back. I mean, OH MAN. I wasn’t watching when Kenny Rogers pitched his perfect game, but I have to imagine it felt like this. I had contacted several friends, told them they needed to get the game on. It was one of those “moments”. While I am tired of hearing about the Cruz non catch in right in the World Series, I have to say that Newy Scruggs equated it well. He said this was like that. You got up high, let yourself believe, and the it crashed down. Yeah, it was pretty crushing. Before that, I was fist pumping sitting in front of my computer, I was seriously into it. Was texting a friend at the same time, chatting with another on Facebook’s chat, so yeah, I was into it with a few friends. Then… Marwin Gonzalez. I mean, who?
I started listening to the game when my kids were still up, but for the first hour, I couldn’t get a good concentration on it. The three year old that wants your attention doesn’t allow for that a whole lot. Once the kids went to bed, I got to pay attention more, and was really getting into it. Darvish was dealing. Had six strikeouts through three. 10 through five. In the fifth though, there were two balls that made me wonder. A long fly ball that Murphy (I think it was Murphy) caught against the wall in left center, and another to Moreland. Both made good plays to keep the perfect game intact. Every perfect game has one of those. DeWayne Wise’s catch in Mark Buehrle’s perfect game comes to mind. Rusty Greer’s dive in Kenny Rogers’ perfect game is another. So while these two by our guys weren’t nearly as dramatic, they were the kind of play you think about after a perfect game is achieved as the one that could have blown it.
Strikeouts kept coming, and when Darvish was finished, he had 14 of them. Was a heck of a performance. A really nice counterbalance to that, and something that probably will get lost in all the perfect game talk is that Darvish didn’t walk anyone. It’s also the first game Darvish hasn’t walked a batter in for the Rangers, either. The place I read that said “as a starter”, but I don’t recall Darvish relieving last year.
Anyway, his slider was filthy, he just raked guys down – it was truly, and honestly a performance that lived up to the kinds of words you hear people use for great pitching performances. Epic being one. Dominating being another. Masterful gets used a lot. Darvish tonight was all three.
I’m not even talking about our offense, except to say.. We couldn’t have had a couple of those on Sunday night? Oh, and Adrian Beltre is 0 for 2013. Thanks for helping out my “Beat the Streak” picks there, Adrian. :) Kinsler had a home run off the foul pole – in left of course. And yes, it was an “uppercut” home run – no surprise there at all. Actually, that’s not totally fair. Elvis went 3-4, and Gentry had a triple. There was some nice offense here, we did score 7 after all.
But this game was all about Darvish. I know Washington didn’t want to take him out with a perfect game going, but he did pitch a lot for the first game of the season. He had some guys up starting in the 8th, but mostly precautionary. I figured (as did most) that if Darvish lost the perfect game, he was out. I think he probably would have been out sooner had this not been a perfect game. A one hitter (or even a no hitter) he was probably out after seven. I think the “perfect” kept him in there longer than he probably would have at this early stage of the season.
Yu Darvish’s WHIP if you care about that that kind of thing is 0.12. :)
The one thing I said to a few friends when the game was over, was it was at least a clean hit. Not a squibber, or a bloop or something that SHOULD have been caught. It was a hard, clean hit up the middle. At least the Astros didn’t try some dumb shit like bunting to break up the perfect game. It was a hit, not some dumb trick, so I’ll give them that.
It was FUN. And this was only Game 2. We’ve got 30+ more of these from Darvish this season. You get the feeling this won’t be the last time he gets here. MLB put a condensed version of Darvish’s performance online not too long after the game was over. You can view that here.
Here’s a few tweets from Twitter I got a kick out of from this game. Mostly after, but not all.
Boooooooooooo, Astros can't even get perfect gamed right— Jerrod Johnson (@JerrodJohnson1) April 3, 2013
Actually, I think Darvish is giving Astros a colonoscopy. Without the anesthesia.— Evan Grant (@Evan_P_Grant) April 3, 2013
More fun from Kinsler on Darvish: I guess this leaves him with some work to do.— Anthony Andro (@aandro) April 3, 2013
Every baseball generation has maybe 3 or 4 pitchers who are must-see every time they take the mound. Yu is one of those guys. #iloveyu— Craig Miller (@junior_miller) April 3, 2013