Yu Darvish updates from March 9, 2012:
Darvish's comment on Wil Venable's double was taken out of context. Darvish tried to clear things up with the following tweet:
昨日フェンス直撃を打ったベナブル選手への「球は捉えられてない」ってコメントがアメリカで違う捉われ方をしてるので言っときます。 「球は捉えられてないと思ったけど思ったより飛んだ。パワーありますね。」という意味です。 本人も嫌な思いをしていたら嫌なので、誰か伝えて貰えると嬉しいです。
The "he did not get all of it" comment I made the other day on the double Venable hit off the wall was misunderstood by the US media. What I meant by that: "I did not think he got all of it and it went further than I thought. He has power." If I offended him, I did not mean to do so. If someone can pass this on to him, I would appreciate it.
Darvish kept his workouts light on Thursday. He watched portions of the Texas - Chicago White Sox game from the bullpen in right. He also had a chance to exchange some words with Kosuke Fukudome.
On Darvish's exhibition game start on Wednesday:
- Nikkan Sports: twenty-six of Darvish's thirty-six pitches went for strikes (72.2%); he threw first pitch strikes to seven out of eight batters he faced.
- Sponichi reports that there were over 150 reporters (US and Japan) covering the start. A separate Sponichi report notes that scouts from twenty also checked out the game.
- Munenori Kawasaki (SEA) dropped by after his practices to watch the game from the stands.
- An ad for Dandy House appeared behind home plate. The company decided to take out an ad the moment they found out Darvish was going to make a start.
Sanspo posted portions of what appears to be Darvish's press conference from Wednesday:
Thoughts on pitching from the set position.
I have always thrown from the set position. But I will change things up based on the situation.
On what basis?
Your thoughts on MLB hitters.
On the pitches they made good contact with, they seemed to show good power.
You almost gave up a home run.
It was dry and there was wind. The ball seemed to carry better than usual, but I did not feel as though it was hit that hard.
On your off-speed pitches.
There was a strong wind from the opposite direction, so my off-speed pitches were good.
On differences in the baseball.
With regards to my pitching today, no problems.
What about differences in the strike zone.
This is the same in Japan, but it is different for everyone. Today's umpire called the high strikes so it made pitching for me a lot easier.
One facing other teams.
I felt good pitching out there. It had been a while so in that sense it was also good.
Were you looking forward to pitch?
Very much so.
Was it power vs power?
It is still early and everyone is still working through things. I do not consider this competing yet. I do not think the opposition is thinking that either. I think that kind of stuff begins with the start of the regular season.
Which batter would you like to face?
I have not really thought about it. I want to face good batters and I want to pitch.
This was your first outing. Were you nervous?
I have pitch in tens, hundreds of games [in Japan]. Everyone asked, but no.
What is the MLB strike zone like?
Just like in Japan, each person has a different [strike zone]. Today's umpire called the high strike so it made pitching easier.
Your thoughts on the differences in hitters.
I have only faced a handful so I still do not really know, but MLB batters have power and Japanese players are good at making contact. I do not like facing either kind [of hitter].
The fifth batters took you deep to center. Did it feel like he hit it really well?
It was dry and there was wind so I think the ball carried a little further than usual. But I did not feel as though he got all of it.
Do you feel relieved now that your first start is out of the way?
I really looked forward to it.