Last night, baseball fans from across the country watched in disappointment when, with one out remaining in the ninth inning for the Texas Rangers against the Houston Astros, Texas pitcher Yu Darvish‘s chance at a perfect game ended with a single that shot between his legs into centerfield.
It was heartbreaking to watch someone get so close to becoming just the 24th player in MLB history to throw a perfect game, only to miss out after retiring 26 straight batters.
Nevertheless, Darvish showed a tremendous amount of poise and maturity throughout, and particularly once it was over. With a big smile on his face, Darvish headed to the dugout, acknowledging the cheers from the visiting yet numerous Ranger fans, as well as some Astros fans who appreciated his dominant performance.
When asked in the locker room after the game whether or not he was disappointed, with help of a translator, he responded, “No. I’m really satisfied.” When asked what was going through his mind afterwards, he said, “I can now go to the dugout,” adding that his teammates were much more disappointed than he was.
But don’t let the loss of a perfect game overshadow Darvish’s dominating performance. He racked up 14 strikeouts, gave up just the one disappointing hit, and made the Astros line-up look silly. Darvish, showing an amazing amount of humility said he simply “got lucky.”
For some, such a disappointment can be incredibly difficult to bounce back from, but for Darvish, if last night was any indicator, it seems as though he’s going to be just fine. In just his second season in the Majors, he showed the maturity and poise of a seasoned veteran which is exactly the type of pitcher the Rangers need on the mound this season and exactly why Darvish himself could soon become one of the elites.