Yu Darvish's Near Perfect Game

Yu Darvish's Near Perfect Game

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Overview

Yu Darvish’s Near Perfect Game refers to the Japanese-born Texas Rangers pitcher’s accomplishment of an almost “perfect game,” which is defined by Major League Baseball (MLB) as a victory in which no opposing batter reaches base over the course of nine innings or more, during a season match against the Houston Astros in April 2013.

Background

On April 2nd, 2013, Darvish was pitching a perfect game with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning against the Houston Astros. When Marwin Gonzalez came up to bat, he managed to break the streak by hitting a base hit that went past Darvish’s legs and into center field. In total, Darvish threw 111 pitches and struck out 14 batters in the 7-0 Rangers victory. Darvish is only the 11th pitcher in MLB history to have a perfect streak broken with only one out left.



Notable Developments

Astro Announcer’s Gaffe

After Gonzalez landed the base hit on Darvish, Houston Astros announcer Alan Ashby remarked “That’ll force a guy to learn some of the language here in America.” After Ashby was criticized for the statement, he publicly apologized for the offending remarks:

“I’d like to apologize if my comments last night were misinterpreted or construed as insensitive. I have the highest respect for Yu Darvish; he’s a great player and his performance last night was outstanding. He showed a great deal of poise in the face of a difficult moment last night, which speaks to the strength of his character.”[2]

Wikipedia Vandalism

Moments after the game ended, Marwin Gonzalez’s Wikipedia[7] page was vandalized by editors referring to him as “ugly face,” claiming that he “bats while going to the toilet” and falsely reporting that he was killed by an angry mob of Rangers fans.[6] Astros fans retaliated by calling Rangers fans “butthurt” and nicknaming Gonzalez the “game breaker” (shown below).



Image Macros

The baseball humor website MLB Memes[4] featured several image macros joking about the dramatic outcome, including examples using the advice animal characters Bad Luck Brian and High Expectations Asian father (shown below).



Twitter Reactions

Immediately following the base hit, the @MLBMeme Twitter feed tweeted about Darvish’s failed streak with a reference to the And It’s Gone advice animal series. Within 48 hours, the tweet received over 280 retweets and 100 favorites.




The same day, the sports blog Bleacher Report[1] posted several notable tweets reacting to the outcome of the game. According to the Twitter analytics site Topsy,[3] Darvish was mentioned over 78,900 times by the end of the night. On April 3rd, Darvish lamented the game with the tweet “Just one more guy.. why!!” In the following 24 hours, the tweet gained more than 34,000 retweets and 10,500 favorites. The same day, the Dallas Observer[5] reported that many Twitter users reacted by calling Darvish racial slurs.




Second Attempt At Perfect Game

On August 12th, 2013, Yu Darvish and the Texas Rangers faced off against the Houston Astros. Darvish flirted with another perfect game during the bottom of the 6th inning. After Darvish defeated the first 17 batters in the game, he faced Jonathan Villar with a 1-2 count. Darvish threw what would like a low strike three, but umpire Ron Kulpa would call it a ball. Two pitches later, Darvish walked Villar which ended the perfect game bid and was followed by Kulpa ejecting catcher A.J. Pierzynski for arguing a call. However, Darvish would continue to throw a no hitter until he gave up a solo home run to Carlos Corporan in the bottom of the 8th inning with one out.

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Top Comments

Insouciant Insect
Insouciant Insect

Baseball fans, I find, are some of the most arrogant spectators in the world of sports. To be directing racial slurs and other condescending phrases at the man is extremely shallow, especially when they don’t have even a slight amount of skill to come close to pitching a perfect game, and especially when all of the verbal abuse is sent over the Internet. The aftermath detailed in this entry just makes me feel bitter about society.

Just my two cents. I’m going to be downvoted for this.

+22

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