BY SPNW Staff 09:19AM 04/09/2012

#5: Mariners Get First Look At Yu Darvish

Acquired from the Yankees in the trade that brought Jesus Montero to Seattle, Hector Noesi nailed down the No. 3 rotation slot in the spring.

Yu Darvish will make his major league debut for the Texas Rangers Monday against the Seattle Mariners. / Wiki Commons

GAME: Mariners (3-1, 1st AL West, 0.0 GB) at Rangers (2-1, 2nd AL West, 0.5 GB). GAME #: 5. SERIES: 1st of 4 games. MEETING (2012): 1st. WHEN: Monday, 5:05 p.m, PT, Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. PROBABLE PITCHERS: RHP Hector Noesi (Seattle, 2-2, 4.47) vs. RHP Yu Darvish (Texas, MLB debut). STREAKS: Mariners W 2; Rangers W 1. TV: ROOT Sports, MLB TV. RADIO: KIRO 710 (Seattle), Mariners Radio Network).

The Mariners (3-1), who lost 15 of 19 games to the Texas Rangers in 2011, get their first look at Japanese import Yu Darvish, and may not like what they see if the numbers that Darvish, Texas’ $110 million offseason acquisition, posted in Japan and spring training translate into the regular season.

While pitching in Japan’s Pacific League, Darvish won three strikeout titles and two ERA crowns. In 15 spring training innings, Darvish held opponents to a .226 batting average.

“He fits right in,” said catcher Mike Napoli. “He has that personality of wanting to have fun and just be a part of this team. I see him being a good pitcher. He has the stuff and the mentality to get it done. You still have to go out there and do it. But he definitely has the stuff and the ability.”

Darvish made his final Cactus League start Friday against a Colorado lineup that included Troy Tulowitzki, Carlos Gonzalez, Todd Helton and Michael Cuddyer. Darvish fanned 11 in six innings, allowing six hits and a walk.

MARINERS: RHP Hector Noesi (2-2, 4.47 ERA, 1.509 WHIP)

Hector Noesi

In his second major league season, and first with the Mariners, Noesi, 25, is making his first start of the 2012 season and second of his career against the Rangers.

A native of Esperanza, Valverde, Dominican Republic, the 6-3, 200-pound Noesi was signed as an amateur free agent by the New York Yankees in 2004.

Noesi made his major league debut May 18, 2011, against the Baltimore Orioles. The fifth Yankees reliever that day, he collected the win by working four innings, during which he allowed four hits, no runs and fanned four.

Noesi became a Mariner Jan. 23 when he was traded by the Yankees, along with Jesus Montero, to Seattle for Jose Campos (minors) and Michael Pineda, an All-Star starter for the Mariners in 2011.

Noesi, who appeared in 30 games for the Yankees in 2011, making two starts, brings a career record of 4-4, 4.47 ERA and 1.5 WHIP into the game.

This will be Noesi’s career third start in a regular season game.

  • 2012: Noesi made three starts during spring training, pitching 12 innings, but earned a spot in the Seattle rotation by producing a 1.50 ERA and a .222 opponent batting average. He had five strikeouts.
  • LAST START: Noesi started against the Tampa Bay Rays Sept. 26, 2011, absorbing a 5-2 loss; allowed three earned runs on five hits, facing 12 batters in 2 innings (in his final spring training start April 12, Noesi earned the win by allowing one run on seven hits in a spring-high 7 IP).
  • LAST VS. RANGERS: Took over for Brian Gordon June 16, 2011, in what became a 3-2 New York win; faced six batters and threw 18 pitches, issuing one intentional walk.
  • CAREER VS. RANGERS: See above.
  • AT RANGERS BALLPARK: First game.
  • LOVES TO FACE (limited exposure): Adrian Beltre (0-for-1, .000 BA), Ian Kinsler (0-for-1, .000 BA), Michael Young (0-for-1, .000 BA).
  • HATES TO FACE: Elvis Andrus (1-for-1, 1.000 BA, 1 2B)).

RANGERS: RHP Yu Darvish (major league debut)

Yu Darvish

A native of Habikino, Osaka, Japan, the 6-5, 215-pound Darvish signed with the Rangers Dec. 19,  after a record posting fee of $51.7 million and a $60 million contract over six years.

Darvish, 25, pitched for Japan’s Hokkaido Nippon Ham from 2007 through 2011, compiling a record of 72-28 with a 1.72 ERA. Darvish is a two-time Pacific League Most Valuable Player (2007, 2009), a three-time strikeout champion (2007, 2010-11), a two-time ERA champion (2009-10) and a two-time Gold Glove winner (2007-08).

Darvish, who played in five NPB All-Star Games, pitched for Japan in the 2008 Beijing Olympics and in the 2009 World Baseball Classic.

Darvish attracted the attention of major league clubs in 2004, when the Anaheim Angels and Atlanta Braves scouted him extensively. The Mets and Dodgers also showed interest.

Darvish became Japan’s highest-paid player before the start of the 2011 season when he agreed to a contract worth slightly more than $6 million U.S.

In 2011, Darvish opened by allowing seven runs in seven innings, but after that did not allow more than three runs in any start. He had a streak of 13 wins in 14 decisions. He finished with 18 wins in a season that featured a career-low 1.44 ERA. He led the league with 28 starts, 232 innings, 276 strikeouts and a 0.82 WHIP.

Darvish showed remarkable location, walking only 36 batters.

Darvish’s parents met at Eckerd College, a liberal arts school in St. Petersburg, FL., where his father played for the college soccer team.


Mariners 8, Athletics 7

AT OAKLAND (April 7): Chone Figgins finished a home run short of the cycle and every Mariners starter had a hit, overcoming a shaky outing from Felix Hernandez and a late rally, to beat the Oakland Athletics 8-7.

Figgins’ two-run double off Bartolo Colon (1-1) highlighted a six-run fourth — helped by center fielder Yoenis Cespedes , who misplayed a ball earlier in the inning — to give Seattle a 7-0 lead. Ichiro also had two hits and an RBI and Kyle Seager singled twice as the Mariners took the season-opening series 3-1.

“They’ve all been tough ballgames, and different types of ballgames. I think that’s a good indicator for us,” manager Eric Wedge said.

Cespedes atoned for his bobble with a three-run homer against reliever Steve Delabar, the third long ball in four games against the Mariners by the Cuban defector.

Hernandez (1-0) gave up six runs on eight hits in 6.1 innings, striking out seven and walking one. Brandon League pitched a scoreless ninth for his second save, one of four Seattle relievers to hold off Oakland’s comeback.

The Mariners sent 10 batters to the plate during the six-run inning.


Team W L Pct. GB Home Road Last 10 Streak
Mariners 3 1 .750 0-0 3-1 3-1 Won 2
Rangers 2 1 .667 0.5 2-1 0-0 2-1 Won 1
Angels 1 2 .333 1.5 1-2 0-0 1-2 Lost 2
Athletics 1 3 .250 2 1-3 0-0 1-3 Lost 2


  • The Rangers and Mariners met 19 times in 2011, Texas taking 15 and outscoring Seattle.
  • RHP Felix Hernandez celebrated his 26th birthday Sunday. Counting Saturday’s start at Oakland, Hernandez made 207 starts before turning 26.
  • Jesus Montero has started each of Seattle’s first four games at DH. The franchise record for starts by a rookie DH is 52, set by Juan Bernhardt in the Mariners inaugural year, 1977.
  • 18 of the Mariners first 27 games will be played on the road (and 28 of first 43). The Mariners will have logged eight road games before playing a game at Safeco Field.
  • According to Stats Inc., the Mariners had an average age of 28.33 when the Opening Day rosters were set. That’s the second-youngest American League roster and the fourth-youngest in the majors.
  • According to USA Today, the Mariners have the 18th-highest payroll in the majors, at just under $82 million. That’s down from just over $94 million in 2011. Of the $82 million, Felix Hernandez, Ichiro, Chone Figgins, Franklin Gutierrez and Brandon League take up slightly more than $58 million of the total (the Yankees have baseball’s top payroll for the 14th consecutive year, $198 million).
  • Outfielders Mike Carp (shoulder) and Franklin Gutierrez (torn pectoral muscle) will be re-evaluated Monday.
  • Munenori Kawasaki ‘s RBI single in the fourth inning Saturday was hit first major league hit. He replaced SS Brendan Ryan, a late scratch because of a stiff neck.
  • Through four games, the Mariners are 10-for-27 (.370) with runners in scoring position.
  • Series record: Won 1, Split 0, Lost 0.


Rec. Home Road Day Night vs. RHP vs. LHP Hit HR No HR
3-1 0-0 3-1 0-0 3-1 3-1 0-0 2-1 1-0


.266 .000 .266 19 3 .291 .385 .676 .370


3-1 3.65 37.0 15 15 6 .221 .257 .386


Date Day Opp. Probable Pitchers
4/10 Tue at Tex Beavan (0-0) vs. Feliz (0-0, 0.00)
4/11 Tue at Tex Millwood (0-0) vs. Lewis (0-0, 0.00)
4/12 Tue at Tex Vargas (0-0, 1.42) vs. Holland (0-0, 0.00)



Gm.# Date Opp. W/L Rec. Win / Loss
1 3/28 at Oak W, 3-1 1-0 W: Wilhelmsen (1-0); L: Carignan (0-1)
2 3/29 at Oak L, 4-1 1-1 W: Colon (1-0); L: Kelley (0-1)


Gm. # Date Opp. W/L Rec. Win / Loss
3 4/6 at Oak W, 7-3 2-1 W: Vargas (1-0); L: McCarthy (0-1)
4 4/7 at Oak W, 8-7 3-1 W: Hernandez (1-0); L: Colon (1-1)
5 4/9 at Tex
6 4/10 at Tex
7 4/11 at Tex
8 4/12 at Tex
9 4/13 vs OaK
10 4/14 vs. Oak
11 4/15 vs. Oak
12 4/17 vs. Cle
13 4/18 vs. Cle
14 4/19 vs. Cle
15 4/20 vs. CWS
16 4/21 vs. CWS
17 4/22 vs. CWS
18 4/24 at Det
19 4/25 at Det
20 4/26 at Det
21 4/27 at Tor
22 4/28 at Tor
23 4/29 at Tor
24 4/30 at TB


  • Pixeldawg13

    Are they playing a tripleheader tomorrow (Tuesday)???  I ask because of this:

    Probable Pitchers

    at Tex
    Beavan (0-0) vs. Feliz (0-0, 0.00)

    at Tex
    Millwood (0-0) vs. Lewis (0-0, 0.00)

    at Tex
    Vargas (0-0, 1.42) vs. Holland (0-0, 0.00)

    • sportspressnw

      Thanks for catching that, we have fixed it.

  • Artthiel

     Wow, Blah. Don’t hold back your feelings. Go ahead and tell us what you think! But yeah, that was way too much influence to exert on a title game.

  • It’s this type of mindless chatter that makes these comment sections hardly worth reading. Having to wade through half a dozen or so of these idiots to find a worthwhile contribution is frustrating. That’s why I normally just visit “Seahawk”, sites. Seattle fans tend to be more intelligent and do not actually make an effort, to be offensive to anybody. Unlike fans from some other teams. Isn’t that right there …Eljefe ?

  • This defense is really something special. They are very young still and have a lot to learn but that’s the great thing about it. They’re just going to get better and better. GO SEAHAWKS !!!

  • Obi-jonKenobi

    Spot on, Art, I hope Pete Carroll listens.  

    I personally can’t wait to see Wilson run the 1st unit.  He’s looking great so far, quick on his feet, good decisions, bullet passes downfield, confident.

    And, we’re not alone.  Here’s the results of a Seattle Times poll asking the question which Seahawk players or units have stood out so far in pre-season:

    Matt Flynn 7.69% (23 votes)
    Russell Wilson 67.89% (203 votes)
    Marshawn Lynch 3.34% (10 votes)
    Seahawks’ pass defense 21.07% (63 votes)
    Total Votes: 299

    • Artthiel

       Carroll knows better, Obi, than to play to popular sentiment, but he’s always been a risk-taker in personnel. I’ve never seen him in Seattle quite as jacked about a single player as Wilson. Might make him a fool, but he lessens that chance with a start of Wilson.

  • big

     Coach Bubbles (you got to love PC) has to walk his talk and give Wilson time with the first unit.  The kid has earned the opportunity

    • Artthiel

       Odd situation, but Carroll wanted it, so he has to follow through,

  • PokeyPuffy

    Have to agree Art!   I was in the get some-reps-and-continuity-for-Flynn camp until last night.   Wilson looks awesome, and individual performance aside, the timing for the whole team looks better when he’s in.   Even if the hawks went 500 this season they would be a blast to watch with him in control.

    It is interesting to consider however that if 1. TO caught the perfectly thrown TD pass from Flynn and if 2. Wilson’s horribly underthrown TD catch against the Titans had turned out differently, this controversy would not have nearly as much legs. 

    • Artthiel

       Lots of if-thens in exhibition play, but when you do QBs in threes there’s never enough game or pratice time for thorough evals. Carroll is definitely out there in this one because Flynn will take it hard if he is a backup AGAIN, even if he gets starter’s money. I think they will go with Flynn against AZ, but it will get wild if Wilson lights it up vs. KC.

      • Flynn has been playing football his entire life and should be used to the idea that someone can come in and take over his job, by now.  The talk about him being negatively affected by that shouldn’t be as much of an issue.  He needs to come in and demand the job with his performance and he hasn’t been horrible, but he wasn’t good on Saturday either.  It’s life as a professional athelete.  If he doesn’t prove himself, he knows it’s on him.

        • RadioGuy

          Flynn has spent a lot of his football life in college and the NFL on the sidelines watching someone else play quarterback.  Everyone refers to his playing behind Aaron Rodgers in Green Bay, but how about being the Peach Bowl MVP as a soph for LSU as an emergency starter and then going back to holding the clipboard as a junior while JaMarcus Russell started the next season?

          One of the intangibles that Matt Flynn brings is an inordinate amount of patience with a willingness to be quiet when things don’t go his way.  Whatever Carroll decides on his QB situation, don’t expect Flynn to complain if Wilson is picked as the starter.  That’s just not his way.

  • RadioGuy

    Why not?  It’s still a preseason game and, no, you don’t have to have your starters named with two games to play before they start counting.  That’s why it’s called a competition.  Let’s see what Wilson can do with the first unit next weekend at KC.  If he’s not ready, plug Flynn back in and call him your season-opening starter.

    • Artthiel

       I realize that NFL custom is to go with your ones in the third fake game, but is not customary to put a third-rounder into competition with two veterans. Customs are not rules. It’s like the nonsense about having broadcasters not discuss a no-hitter in progress. That isn’t in the Constitution, the Magna Carta or J.P. Patches Clean Plate Club. Carroll may be nuts, but he’s got to play the hand.

  • Joe Fan

    Gotta go with Flynn Art.  I think Flynn has looked slightly better than Wilson, and he has the advantage of some experience versus being straight out of college.  Got to go with Flynn until Flynn proves to make bad decisions.  Saturday, I believe he was the victim of having to play the first quarter with T.O; otherwise his numbers would have looked much better.

    • The misconnections with TO were a mixed bag. The first back shoulder throw wasn’t a good choice because the CB wasn’t over-pursuing, that’s why TO went for the back of the endzone where he was wide open.  There were other routes that he ran wrong but 3/5 were bad throws or decisions by Flynn and the other 2 were on TO.  They were all miscommunications but it wasn’t all TO.  You have to hold Flynn to some of them.

      • TO did drop that wide open TD pass.  I’ll give you that though.  Had he caught that, it would look a bit different, but I think Wilson would’ve made more out of the first broken pockets and wouldn’t have held the ball as long as Flynn.

  • Jtkxyz

    Why does everyone keep on making the Flynn-didn’t-have-all-his-weapons excuse?  Wilson doesn’t either.  Yes, he’s playing against the second unit defense, but with the talent of his second unit offense.  And doesn’t that level the playing field?  Or, is there some little known rule that the second unit offense is always superior to the other team’s second unit defense?  

    In this league, where the competition is fierce and the difference between a win and a loss often comes down to a play or two, Wilson is far more dynamic of the two, and deserves a chance to state his case. 

    • Flynn plays, in practice, with the starting first-teamers. He gets 2nd teamers in-game. Wilson practices with 2nd and 3rd teamers. He gets 2nd and 3rd teamers in-game. That’s the problem.

  • start Flynn, as soon as he goes down, Wilson won’t relinquish the job.  #12thMan

    • If that’s the case, then why not start him now?  The idea that Matt Flynn would lose the job to Wilson and never get it back if he were to get injured, should right away say that Wilson should be in now. Why wait for an injury?

  • The thought of starting Flynn over Wilson is intriguing, but there is no way the Hawks should eat a 3-year, $26-million contract before allowing Flynn a chance to start a meaningful game.  Giving Wilson a year to learn the system from the sidelines will only help his career down the road.  Let’s remember that Flynn has only started a pair of games.  If memory serves me correctly, it took the most successful quarterback in Seahawks history almost a full season before he looked NFL ready.

    No reason to jump ship on the Bayou sensation just yet.

    • RadioGuy

      “Only” $10 million of that contract is guaranteed, Adam, so the Hawks aren’t on the hook for the other $16 million.  Yes, his contract does give Flynn an advantage over Wilson as far as Paul Allen and his accountants are concerned, but Pete Carroll isn’t a CPA.  He’ll go with whoever he thinks he can win with.

  • RadioGuy

    Have to admit I hadn’t watched a game yet because I don’t get too excited about the preseason, but I did tune in for a couple of quarters last night.  VERY impressive.  I’d thought the Seahawks might’ve gotten a third-round steal in Wilson because of what he did in one year at Wisconsin on and off the field (I don’t listen to the “too small” worries…a player is a player), but I never expected Wilson to do this well this soon.  It IS the preseason so a lot of this might be taken with a grain of salt, but Wilson surely does look like the real deal.

    A side note:  Would he become the first QB ever to tell Terrell Owens to shut the hell up if/when TO starts shooting his mouth off about him?  I don’t get the impression Wilson is the kind of guy who’ll put up with that. even from a Hall of Fame WR.  Wilson showed very soon after arriving as a transfer in Madison last year that he can make a team “his team” in short order. 

    • Artthiel

       Those who’ve followed him closely will say they’re not surprised. He’s had “it” since grade school. He seems to have won over the locker room to the point where other vets would get in Owens face before Wilson had to speak. But I don’t think Wilson will have to worry about TO after next week.

  • osoviejo

     Art, after watching Wilson’s post-game press conference, I think you should sit him down and show him the classic Hank Stram “keep matriculating the ball down the field” clip from NFL Films.  It was pretty funny to see him use the line (in a Kansas City Chiefs post-game, no less) but it’s clear he has no idea where it comes from (or what ‘matriculate’ means).

    These kids today.

    • Artthiel

       If that’s his only flaw, I’ll see you in New Orleans for the Seahawks’ second Super Bowl.

  • Hammtime

    Excited but trying not to get too excited :)  Wilson looked d**n good last night. I want to see more!

    • Artthiel

      Carroll will see to that.

  • Bayviewherb

    Jackson and Flynn will have to flip a coin to see who rides tge bench this year.

    • RadioGuy

      Yeah, Flynn might’ve Wally Pipped himself out of a starting job by sitting out last night.

      • Artthiel

         Marshawn Lynch better get over his back problems or he’ll find himself Wilsonned by Robert Turbin.

    • Artthiel

       Then again, why not trade Flynn? Just sayin’.

  • PokeyPuffy

    Wilson has such awesome footwork!  Like a boxer or really good point guard in bball, he is always setting him self up for his next move.  Not sure how he sees defenders so well without seemingly moving his head around like other QB’s do.

    Best part of all this:  here it is late August and the term “game manager” hasn’t been used in weeks!!!!

    • Artthiel

       Not only are his feet fast, he has a quick release. That’s how he compensates for shortness. The only time height is a factor is when the bodies back up into his face. If Wilson gets the ball off a half-second faster, the crowding becomes less of an impediment. Notice how he doesn’t have to set himself before h throws. He has big hands and big arms that make for a fast trigger.

  • Jtkxyz

    Art, in light of all the post-orgasmic glow from Seattle fans over Wilson’s performance last night, I have to ask you as an insider, Do you see a weakness in Wilson’s game?  The only reason why I ask is because you mentioned in your last Seahawk’s related post that you thought Wilson would struggle against the ones.  Are we justified in going completely gaga over him, or do people in the know think he has weakness to address before he can become a legitimate NFL QB? 

    • Artthiel

       I think I wrote that the Seahawks need to find out if he will struggle against ones.   But to your point: Carroll was worried that Wilson would tend to run before a pass play gets fully developed. He’s a good runner, but NFL defenses will account for it if he bails too often. Wilson came through. He ran only twice, and the 59 yards proved the wisdom of his choices.

      The other concern is reading sophisticated defenses. KC ran a lot of stuff, and the entire offense handled it well. Inevitably, he will misread things he’s never seen, but Carroll is so impressed with his quick uptakes that they will live with the mistakes, knowing it will happen once and Wilson will have solved for it.

  • Artthiel

     Sure. Any time. Next I’ll talk McGinn into funding the Lander St. overpass in SoDo.