LOS ANGELES – Yu Darvish heard it from the Dodger Stadium crowd when his name was announced before the start of the Saturday night game. He heard it again when he picked up the mound for the first time, and later when he entered the batting area.
The boos were in force in L.A.,
LOS ANGELES –
The boos were in effect in L.A., but Darvish did not let them turn into a mental blockage in what he admitted to be an important outlet. In a 2-1 win, Darvish was brilliant on his first start to the stadium since his loss to the Dodgers in the seventh game of the 2017 World Series. And know that his days in Dodger blue were in there. Darvish spirit this weekend.
• The score of the box
"It was really important in my life," Darvish said. "I think now I can move on, I've started well here."
Darvish moved away without a decision, but
In seven innings, Darvish has accumulated 10 strikeouts (7 followed) with a fast approach. The right-hander limited Los Angeles to two hits, ending the match with no shots allowed on a 13-hit streak. It was the first time Darvish had allowed more than one point with at least 10 strikeouts and 7 innings since August 4, 2017. It was his debut in the Dodgers after being traded by Texas this summer.
Darvish's time with the Dodgers was positive, but the pitcher was waiting for the negative response from the fans present. Darvish defeated the Cubs in the third NL Championship Series game in 2017, then allocated nine points in 3 1/3 innings combined between the third and seventh game of the World Series against the Astros.
Walker Buehler, the Dodgers' right-hander, said he had no desire to say how long Darvish's time in Latin America had ended.
"Darvish, being back here, it was cool for us – we all love it," said Buehler. "I understand where the fans come from, but at the same time, it's a good guy and it was fun to play against him."
Rizzo described as "unfortunate" the training's inability to qualify early against Buehler, depriving Darvish of an opportunity to score a "W" next to his name. The first baseman said that Darvish had made great progress with his teammates this season and that they were delighted to see the efforts on this front combined with better results on the mound.
"He has continued to be more comfortable since spring training until now," Rizzo said. "Nothing but his overall presence was great, it was fun to watch him pitch criticism, come see us and say things behind the scenes. Is good. "
An example of what Rizzo was referring to fell on May 4, when Darvish had a tough battle with the Cardinals. After leaving the match, the pitcher spotted Javier Baez in the batting cage and Darvish apologized for putting the team in a difficult position to win. Baez then went out and made a decisive pass that day to propel Chicago to victory.
Darvish did not need to apologize for anything this time.
The Dodgers' only breakthrough came in the fourth inning when rookie Alex Verdugo attacked a fastball in the first pitch and sent it back to the center of the field on the right. This is Verdugo's first strike since April 24, when he also fought against the Cubs. Other than that, Darvish has calmed the Dodgers range with 86% of its offers being a kind of fastball (cutters, four seamstresses and turntables).
"Yu, you have to give him credit," said Dave Roberts, manager of the Dodgers. "He came here with a goal and intent tonight and he really started well, he kept the ball out of the barrel, he was very well sequenced and we did not really have a lot of good momentum."
Cubs manager Joe Maddon said he appreciates the honesty Darvish has shown in preparing games like this. The mental side of the game is an important element for the pitcher.
During the spring training, Darvish spoke of the importance of attacking Texas – the team that brought him out of Japan – during the inaugural series of Cubs. The nerves, combined with the misfortunes of the command, obtained the best of the right-hander in that one. Back in May, he also added weight to the Phillies duel, right-handed Jake Arrieta, the legend of the Cubs who left via an independent agency the same winter, Darvish arrived via a blockbuster deal.
Darvish has made a good start against Arrieta and has made steady progress in recent weeks. In his last eight rounds for Chicago, the right-hander has an average of 3.86 fairness points and has eliminated 28% of his hitters.
"Yu talks about what's going on in there, he's not hiding," Maddon said. "He knows that he has had to overcome some obstacles, and I adore the fact that he speaks to them, he does not push them away, he does not slap them in the dance. accounts.
"This situation at home, on his return to Dodger Stadium – a bad moment in his previous career – and suddenly, he is able to put that in the rearview mirror."
Given the outcome of the game, Darvish was even able to joke about boos.
"I thought about it [there’d be] more, "said Darvish.
Jordan Bastian covers the Cubs for MLB.com. He previously covered the 2011-18 Indians and the 2006-10 Blue Jays. Read his blog, Major League Bastian and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian.