Yu Darvish came within one batter of throwing a perfect game on Tuesday, but all the internet seemed to care about was his funny name.
Darvish retired the first 26 batters in order as his Texas Rangers took on the Houston Astros. Then, with only one batter separating him from a perfect game, Marwin Gonzalez managed a hit.
Yu missed out on his perfect game but still struck out 14 batters as the Rangers won 7-0.
For those who actually cared about baseball, it was a masterful performance. The Rangers ace racked up 27 swing-and-misses on 106 pitches through eight innings, an unreal total. For comparison, Clayton Kershaw had 13 swing-and-misses in his four-hit shutout on Opening Day.
The game proved that Darvish can have just as much success on American soil as he did in Japan where he dominated batters with his pinpoint fastball and nearly unhittable offspeed pitches. It also justified the six-year, $60 million contract the Rangers handed him prior to the 2012 season.
Though Yu Darvish had some accuracy problems in MLB last season, he was still able to strike out 221 batters in 191.1 innings.
But for much of the internet, the almost perfect game brought up an opportunity to make fun of the Yu Darvish’s unusual name. Twitter appeared to be the biggest culprit.
Yu win some, Yu lose some, etc.
— Zach Greenwell (@zach_greenwell) April 3, 2013
No soup for Yu! — Kyle Feldscher (@kylefeldscher) April 3, 2013
Others just wanted to make fun of the Houston Astros and their not-ready-for-primetime roster.
Don’t worry, we’ll get to see someone throw a perfect game against the Astros this season.
— Bill Simmons (@BillSimmons) April 3, 2013
Yu Darvish even managed some humor after losing out on his bid for history. When asked by a reporter what emotions he felt after the final batter got a hit, Yu answered: “I can now go back to the dugout.”