Texas Rangers pitcher Yu Darvish came close to perfection on Tuesday night in Houston, pitching 8 2/3 perfect innings before giving up a base hit.
Even though the Rangers won 7-0, the game really did feel like a letdown for the Rangers. Yes, they got a much-needed win after dropping the nationally televised MLB opening night game in Houston.
But after the disappointment of not getting Yu that perfect game, the Rangers do need to look at the bigger picture.
Yu Darvish looked like a true ace on that mound -- the ace that the Rangers pay him to be, and the ace the Rangers need.
With Josh Hamilton, Mike Napoli, and Michael Young gone, this Rangers will try and win games a little differently than in years past.
With a more athletic line-up, and a little better defense, the Rangers are hoping to manufacture more runs with their legs, and win some close games with solid pitching and defense.
The key to the pitching is Darvish, since he is being asked to be the true ace of the Rangers. The rotation is very solid, but lacks a proven, big-time ace that you have total confidence in.
The Rangers front office hopes Darvish is that ace, and has enough confidence in him to pay a hefty fee to bring him from Japan.
Darvish wasn’t named the No. 1 starter as the season started -- that honor went to Matt Harrison -- but make no mistake about it, Yu is the one that this rotation will follow in 2013.
If Yu develops into a nightmare for batters, an ace that a team has total confidence in to hand him the ball and win the game, the this rotation can be very special.
Yu might have just missed perfection, but deep down, after a day to really think about it, Nolan Ryan and Jon Daniels have to be excited about Yu’s performance.
It’s only one game, and Yu could still bomb the rest of the season, or at the very least fail to meet expectations.
But if his near miss with perfection is any indication of his 2012 campaign, Yu and the Rangers might be back in the Fall Classic.
John Dyer is a sports blogger for KSAT.com. He also owns a sports website, Texas Sports Junkie.