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Yu Darvish forced to issue statement after joke about Masahiro Tanaka is taken seriously

Yu DarvishYu Darvish was moved to make a statement on Tuesday after a joke he cracked about Masahiro Tanaka’s contract was taken the wrong way.

Darvish, who finished second in AL Cy Young voting last season, joked with the media that the Yankees paid Tanaka too much money.

“Well, I don’t know much about the new posting system, but I think the Yankees gave him a little too much money,” he joked via the Dallas Morning News.

Darvish signed with the Texas Rangers for $60 million over six years before the 2012 season. The Rangers paid the Nippon-Ham Fighters nearly $52 million as a posting fee for the right to negotiate with him. The Yankees paid Tanaka $155 million over seven years and were able to pay him more money directly because of changes to the Japanese posting fees system.

Even though it was pretty clear that Darvish was joking, sometimes quotes get taken out of context, leaving athletes to do damage control. Darvish clarified via Twitter and then released a statement through the Rangers.

Here’s the statement he released:

“I am sorry if anyone took my comment seriously about Masahiro Tanaka at the press conference today,” Darvish said in the statement. “I assumed by the reaction in the room that everyone knew I was joking.”

That sound you hear is a collective groan that something actually came of such an innocent comment.

Yu Darvish strikes out Trevor Plouffe on 61-mph curveball (GIF)

Yu Darvish flirted with a no-hitter yet again, and he was making Minnesota Twins batters look foolish along the way.

Darvish took a no-hitter into the seventh on Friday before allowing a walk, 2-run home run to Chris Herrmann, and solo home run to Josh Willingham. Prior to getting hit around in the seventh, he was confusing the Twins with an assortment of great stuff. Nothing was better than what he did to Plouffe in the top of the fifth.

Darvish struck out Plouffe on three pitches to end the inning. The Twins third baseman took an inside breaking ball for a called strike, then a fastball for a called strike, and he waved at a 61-mph curveball to end the inning. He was obviously confused and just threw his bat out there as an emergency swing. But Plouffe did get some revenge; he got a hit off Darvish in the seventh to chase the pitcher from the game.

In the image below, you can see just how far in front of the pitch Plouffe was:

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All 15 of Yu Darvish’s strikeouts against Houston Astros (Video)

Yu DarvishTexas Rangers stud pitcher Yu Darvish was at it again on Monday, striking out 15 Houston Astros and taking a no-hitter into the eighth inning of Texas’ 2-1 win at Minute Maid Park.

Darvish, who leads all MLB pitchers in strikeouts, went eight innings allowing one walk, one hit, and one run while striking out a career-high 15 for the win. The lone hit was a solo home run by Carlos Corporan with one out in the eighth. In the video above, you can see all 15 of Darvish’s strikeouts. Most of them came on one of his amazing breaking balls, while it looks like two came on fastballs.

Darvish was actually perfect through five until walking Jonathan Villar with two outs in the sixth. The walk came after a controversial 2-2 call that led to catcher A.J. Pierzynski’s ejection.

Darvish struck out Robbie Grossman and Brandon Barnes all three times he faced them.

Darvish has four 14-strikeout games this season, in addition to Monday’s 15-strikeout game. Two of the 14-strikeout games have come against the Arizona Diamondbacks, while another came against Houston, against whom he nearly threw a perfect game in his first start of the year. The 15 strikeouts matches Darvish’s career-best mark in professional baseball (he had a 15-K game in Japan).

Yu Darvish made Miguel Cabrera look foolish on 62 mph curveball

Miguel CabreraDoes anyone have a more wicked pitching arsenal than Yu Darvish? The Texas Rangers stud pitcher matched up with Justin Verlander on Thursday in a game that surprisingly turned into a slugfest. While Verlander was rocked and couldn’t make it through three innings, Darvish got through eight to pick up his seventh win of the season.

But there was one moment in particular that must be recognized: the time when Darvish made Miguel Cabrera look foolish.

Darvish was facing Cabrera in the top of the fifth with the Rangers up 8-4 and the count 0-1. Darvish threw Cabrera a 62 mph curveball, and Miggy took a vicious hack at it. He was so off balance after missing on the swing that he stumbled across the plate and was left to give a smile. Why? Because nobody makes him look foolish like that.

Cabrera is the reigning AL MVP and last year’s triple crown winner. He’s the best hitter in baseball. That doesn’t happen very often. But with Darvish pitching, anything is possible.

Also see: Amazing GIF shows all of Darvish’s pitches

GIF via Drew Sheppard

Yu Darvish GIF shows his array of incredibly nasty pitches

Yu Darvish is truly coming into his own in his second year in the majors. The Texas Rangers starter was an out away from throwing a perfect game against the Houston Astros in his first start of the season. He struck out 14 that game, which set the tone for the rest of the month. Darvish has posted double-digit strikeout totals in his last two starts, giving him an MLB-leading 49 for the season. He has faced the Angels and Mariners twice since beating the Astros, and he has given up three runs in one start to each while pitching a six-inning shutout in the other starts.

Watching Darvish against the Angels on Wednesday, it was unreal to see the array of nasty pitches he has. He kept batters off balance with a four-seem and two-seam fastball that he moved in or out, a hard curveball, and a slow, looping curve ball. He also has a splitter and cutter.

In the amazing GIF seen above, Reddit user DShep shows Darvish throwing five pitches at once to Albert Pujols. You can see his two-seam fastball (the one that moves inside), the four-seam fastball (the actual pitch caught by the catcher), his slow curve that crosses the outside corner, and his slider and hard curve that both move off the outside corner.

When Darvish is commanding those pitches like he did on Wednesday, it’s almost unfair how many weapons he has to defeat foes. He was routinely throwing his fastball in the mid-90s, then he would throw that insane hard curve that dives down and away at only 7-8 mph slower. And on top of moving the ball in and out, he mixed speeds brilliantly. He struck out Luis Jimenez and Mike Trout on his big, slow curveball that clocked around 61-64 mph (seen below):

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Yu Darvish says he voted for Jake Peavy for All-Star Game

Yu Darvish received 7.3 million votes to win the fan vote and final spot on the American League All-Star team, but the Japanese pitcher says he actually voted for another player.

“I know that I mentioned not being worthy a few days ago,” he said through interpreter Joe Furukawa, according to The Dallas Morning News. “But now that I’m selected, what it means to me now, is that if I get a chance to compete I want to put the best effort forward that I can. But, personally, I voted for Jake Peavy.

“To be selected by the fans like this, it is very much an honor and I’m very appreciative of it.”

As the above quote mentions, Darvish said earlier in the week that he didn’t feel like he deserved a spot on the All-Star team. The fans felt otherwise.

The Japanese rookie is tied for second in the AL in wins with 10, third with 117 strikeouts, and 14th with a 3.59 ERA. Peavy, a former Cy Young winner, is sixth with a 2.96 ERA, 8th with 101 strikeouts, and 4th with a 0.99 WHIP. Darvish’s 10-5 record is better than Peavy’s 6-5 mark.

It’s debatable who deserved the All-Star selection more between the two pitchers (I’d lean Peavy), but Darvish certainly was worthy of the honor. Regardless, we appreciate the humble nature of his comments. Between Yu and Bryce Harper, we’re seeing some classy comments from rookies lately.

Yu Darvish look-alike fan spotted at Angels game (Pictures)

Which one is the real Yu Darvish? If you said the one on the right because he looks like he’s in the middle of an actual baseball game and doesn’t have a jersey that reads “Minivish” on the back of it, fair enough. If you said the one on the right because you can tell by the face, you’re lying. The photo on the left that you see above was passed along to us by Beto Duran of ESPN Radio in Los Angeles. Apparently this Darvish lookalike was roaming the stands at the Rangers-Angels game in Anaheim on Friday night.

If this Brett Favre impersonator can fool people in Green Bay and this guy can cause a stir in Seattle, the Yu look-alike deserves an award or something. Bravo.

Photo credit: Steven Bisig-US PRESSWIRE