Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Yu Darvish Comes Within One Out of Perfect Game for Rangers; Madison Bumgarner Blanks Dodgers

Players of the Day for Tuesday, March 2, 2013

American League

Darvish: near-perfect
Praise for Texas pitcher Yu Darvish was over the top last season as the 6'5" Japanese phenom made his US debut, putting up a record of 16-9, with a 3.90 ERA over 29 starts.

Darvish, apparently ready to exceed expectations this year, went to the mound on Tuesday for the Rangers and was completely untouchable for 8 2/3 innings, throwing a perfect game until Houston's Marwin Gonzalez slapped a single up the middle - right between Darvish's legs, in fact - breaking up the attempt at perfection.

After throwing 111 pitches, the lone hit prompted a move to the bullpen, Darvish replaced by Michael Kirkman, who was nicked for a single by Jose Altuve before getting JD Martinez looking to end the game.

Darvish struck out a career high 14 in the 7-0 Texas win. Ian Kinsler socked a two-run homer in the seventh to break open the 1-0 game. Elvis Andrus and Lance Berkman each had three hits in four at-bats.

National League
Madison Bumgarner

After Clayton Kershaw threw a four-hit shutout in the season opener for the Dodgers on Monday, it was payback time for the Giants as the West coast rivals played game two of their three-game series in Chavez Ravine.

Madison Bumgarner responded for the world champions, blanking the Dodgers over eight innings before Sergio Romo mopped up with a hitless ninth inning for the 3-0 San Francisco win.

Hitting his marks with outstanding control, Bumgarner threw 76 of 101 pitches for strikes, fanning six. He also aided his cause by driving in a run in the seventh inning on a fielder's choice after singling to left in the fifth.

Bumgarner was 16-11 with a 3.34 ERA in 22 starts for the Giants last season.

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