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05/16/2012

Yu Darvish's 2012 start vs. Fernando Valenzuela's 1981 start

0518_largeTime to think outside of the sports comparison box, and that means Yu Darvish is not to be compared with another Japanese import. The Big Mac Blog is looking to Mexico for the last time a rookie kicked this much MLB tail this early.

Texas Rangers pitcher Yu Darvish is 6-1 with a 2.60 ERA after going 7 2/3 innings and allowing 1 run with 7 Ks against the Oakland A's on Wednesday night in Arlington.

The last time the MLB was this impressed by an import pitcher was a Mexican teenager with the L.A. Dodgers in Fernando Valenzuela. Fernando may have had a weird delivery, and a bit of a gut, but he was a great athlete. He was also pitching in the National League in more of a pitcher's era. 

When he broke into the bigs with the Dodgers in 1980 he did so as a 19-year-old reliever. In his first full year, in 1981, Fernando was a starter and finished 13-7 with a 2.48 ERA with a staggering 11 complete games and eight shutouts. 

As impressive as Yu's start is, Fernando's was brilliant.

Yu Darvish's first eight starts: 
1. 4/9 v. Sea, 5/2 ip, 8 hits, 1 er, 4 BB, 5 K   W, 11-5  (1-0)
2. 4/14 at Min, 5.2 ip, 9 hits, 2 er, 4 BB, 4 K  W, 6-2 (no decision)
3. 4/19 at Det, 6.1 ip, 2 hits, 1 er, 5 BB, 5 K  W 10-3 (2-0)
4. 4/24 v. NYY 8.1 ip, 7 hits, 0 er, 2 BB, 10 K  W 2-0 (3-0)
5. 4/30 at Tor, 7 ip, 4 hits, 1 er, 2 BB, 9 K    W 4-1 (4-0)
6. 5/6 at Cle, 6 ip, 5 hits, 3 er, 4 BB, 11 K   L 4-2 (4-1)
7. 5/11 at Angels, 5.1 ip, 3 hits, 3 er, 3 BB, 7 K    W 10-3 (5-1)
8. 5/16 v. A's, 7.2 ip, 4 hits, 1 er, 2 BB, 7 K  W  W 3-1 (6-1)

Fernando Valenzuela's first 8 MLB starts (in 1981)
1. 4/9 v. Astros 9 ip, 5 hits, 0 er, 2 BB, 5 K   W, 2-0 (1-0; shutout)
2. 4/14 at SF Giants 9 ip, 4 hits, 1 er, 2 BB, 10 K  W, 7-1 (2-0; complete game)
3. 4/18 at Padres 9 ip, 5 hits, 0 er, 0 BB, 10 K  W, 2-0 (3-0; shutout) 
4. 4/22 at Astros 9 ip, 7 hits, 0 er, 3 BB, 11 K   W, 1-0 (4-0, shutout)
5. 4/27 SF Giants 9 ip, 7 hits, 0 er, 4 BB, 7 K  W, 5-0 (5-0, shutout)
6. 5/3 at Expos 9 ip, 5 hits, 1 er, 0 BB, 7 K   W, 6-1 (6-0, complete game)
7. 5/8 at NY Mets 9 ip, 7 hits, 0 er, 5 BB, 11 K   W, 1-0 (7-0, shutout)
8. 5/14 v. Expos W 9 ip, 3 hits, 2 er, 1 BB, 7 K   W, 3-2 (8-0, complete game)

 

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Comments

Quincy

Fernando was a total freak. Amazing arm. And a different kind of guy. He was The Great One.

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