Yu Darvish wasn’t positive what sort of reception he should anticipate Saturday night time when he pitches at Dodger Stadium for the primary time since his 2017 World Collection debacle.
“I don’t know,” Darvish stated. “Perhaps boo.”
A minimum of at this point, Darvish isn’t hyping his return to Dodger Stadium with the identical lofty expectations he positioned on himself on Might 20 after referring to former Cubs pitcher Jake Arrieta as a “legend.” Darvish pitched six innings of 4-hit ball towards the Phillies and Arrieta, the 2015 National League Cy Younger Award winner with the Cubs.
“It’s the identical recreation as regular,” Darvish stated. “I simply need to do my job. That’s it.”
Saturday’s recreation could be extra emotional for the Dodgers fans who blame Darvish for his early knockouts in Games 3 and seven of the World Collection, forgetting his distinctive performances in wins over the Diamondbacks and Cubs in the 2017 playoffs.
Although Darvish is aware of the Dodgers offense is formidable, he additionally has the arrogance that wasn’t present when he last visited Dodger Stadium 12 months ago. Darvish’s 2018 season reached a low point when his bullpen session was halted due to lingering discomfort in his proper elbow that led to season-ending surgery 2½ months later.
“Final yr, I couldn’t even play catch last yr here,” Darvish recalled.
This season Darvish has shown flashes of dominance, reminders of why the Cubs signed him to a six-yr, $126 million contract in February of 2018.
Darvish hasn’t walked greater than three batters in a recreation since Might 9, his slider and minimize fastball have locked up right- and left-handed hitters, and the command of his fastball has improved to the purpose the place he threw sixty three of 83 pitches for strikes in his last begin Monday towards the Rockies.
Those stepping stones help the arrogance Darvish showed shortly after signing with the Cubs, when he despatched a textual content to Dodgers manager Dave Roberts with the message, “see you in October.”
“If you want to go to the World Collection, you need to face the Dodgers,” Darvish stated.
Darvish’s street ERA of four.04 is considerably higher than his 5.89 residence ERA. But supervisor Joe Maddon believes Darvish handed an enormous check at Wrigley Area when he didn’t permit a run in his 5 innings towards the Phillies and returning hero Arrieta.
“And the very fact he talked about Jake and had to face Jake head-to-head and overcame that,” Maddon stated. “He’s been pitching nicely. I feel he’s going to return out with a special mindset. Numerous that is going to be in his rearview mirror. He’ll admit there are still hurdles for him to recover from. I get that. But I feel he’s higher at placing issues in his rearview mirror. More just lately. If he continues alongside that approach and throws the ball like he has, great things is true around the nook.
“Physically he’s been great. His final begin his fastball command was the most effective since I’ve seen him….