People say that the hardest thing to do in sports is to hit a baseball, an argument that strengthens by the year in the new MLB as pitchers throw harder and harder in favor of locating their pitches. I'd actually argue that simply stepping in the batter's box to face these guys is the hardest part, or at least the most frightening. You ever see Jordan Hicks throw a two-seamer? You couldn't pay me to stand in the box for that.
Same goes for this 99-mph fastball with movement from Yu Darvish on Monday night that's currently making the social media rounds. It's certainly not the first 99-mph fastball and it won't be the last, but what we do know is that it may be the only one you'll ever see that could double as a weapon of mass destruction. That's because Darvish's pitch didn't just hurt and temporarily injure the batter Lewis Brinson, it also nearly took down the ump and Darvish's catcher Wilson Contreras. Watch as Yu treats these three like human bowling pins:
Devastating. Destructive. Daunting. Damaging. Darvish. All the D-words. My goodness, that looked like it hurt. Making it all the more impressive was that it came in the bottom of the sixth on Darvish's 96th pitch of the night, a night that ended with Darvish's first win of the year. Darvish went 5.2 innings, gave up only two runs and four hits, struck out eight batters and nearly killed three people:
Brinson was shaken up the most, though he should be thanking his lucky stars it didn't hit him in a much, much worse spot than it did: