HOUSTON Yu Darvish may have fallen just short of perfection, but the numbers were impressive nonetheless: 26 consecutive outs; 78 strikes in a 111 pitches; a career-high 14 strikeouts.
While Marwin Gonzalez kept Darvish from joining the 23 other Major League pitchers who've thrown perfect games, Darvish's feat is actually more rare. He's now the 11th pitcher in major league history to lose a perfect game on the 27th batter.
Darvish's numbers also impressive in the social media realm.According to the league's public relations Twitter account, there were 104,000 mentions of Yu Darvish Tuesday night on Twitter.Those tweets are estimated to have reached 203 million people.
Asssistant professor Josh Price teaches a sports Economics class at the University of Texas at Arlington. He's says Darvish's center stage moment on the mound and on Twitter provided invaluable national exposure.
"So this is a way to get him out there so people know who is Yu Darvish," said Price, "and realize that this is a great pitcher."
And creating that moment could mean even more when fans consider their favorite players this season.
"All Star (teams) are voted by the fans," said Price. "So, if fans start realizing and start catching on Twitter how good he is, and continue to follow to see how well he does in the season, he can become and all star game starter."
So, although it was more last-out exasperation for Rangers fans, Darvish is definitely trending in the right way.