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Patrick Newman

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Darvish's Mechanics in Return

by Patrick Newman (Nov 3, 2009)

Yu Darvish returned after a nearly two-month layoff to pitch game two of the Japan Series.  Though still not at 100%, he pitched well enough to win. The data we have shows that he relied more heavily on his curveball than usual, so let's take a look at what adjustments he made in his delivery.

[Video]

This is a very high quality video - the best I've seen on YouTube.

Now let's take a look at some footage from earlier in the season, when he was healthy. The following are clips from Darvish's July 15 start against the Hawks. I chose the July 15 game completely arbitrarily; I would have rather looked at footage from a more recent start but was unable to quickly locate any on YouTube.

[Videos]

As you can see, Darvish was a lot quicker to the plate in the July 15 game, and was landing harder on his front foot. Darvish also didn't have that pause a the top of his windup, but he did use it later in the season.

Even without the pause, Darvish looked a lot more deliberate to the plate in game two, had a step back with his left foot, and was softer on his follow through than before. It looked to me like he was twisting his torso a bit more in game two as well.

It speaks to Darvish's talent that he could come back after almost two months out, with altered mechanics, and shut down Japan's top lineup.


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