Dodgers’ Yu Darvish Confronts His Very Bad World Series

Darvish’s choice was primarily based partially on the variety of reporters seeking to get solutions from him, and his want to not create a visitors jam within the somber Dodgers clubhouse. But there additionally appeared to be a measure of accountability in his alternative, as if he felt it was incumbent on him to sit down within the highlight and reply all the questions on why he had pitched so poorly.

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Dodgers Manager Dave Roberts patted Darvish on the again after relieving him within the second inning.

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Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

“I had bad days,” he mentioned, “and that means somebody else had a great day. I try to think of it that way, and sometimes it works. Maybe this time it didn’t work because I let my teammates down.”

Darvish, who got here to the key leagues in 2012 amid a great deal of fanfare and joined the Dodgers in July in a commerce designed to fortify their possibilities to win a championship, is hardly the primary participant to stumble so profoundly within the Series. There have been lots of them over the many years and, because it seems, Darvish’s terrible efficiency is an ideal match for the one turned in by Art Ditmar of the Yankees within the 1960 World Series in opposition to Pittsburgh. Ditmar began Games 1 and 5 for the Yankees and misplaced each of them, matching Darvish’s Zero-2 report. He additionally ended with the identical, ugly 21.60 E.R.A. now on Darvish’s résumé. And just like the Dodgers in 2017, the Yankees misplaced that Series in seven video games.

In the aftermath of Game 7 on Wednesday night time, Darvish’s teammates did their finest to maintain him from feeling that he was the most important purpose that they had misplaced the Series.

“It’s never about one guy,” Justin Turner nobly insisted. “It’s about 25 guys, and we lost as a team.”

And Turner had a degree. If Kenley Jansen had not blown a save in Game 2, if Clayton Kershaw had not blown two leads in Game 5, the Series may need turned out in another way. And but Darvish’s failures have been significantly obtrusive as a result of they put the Dodgers in huge holes so early in two video games, holes that the Dodgers couldn’t get out of.

On Wednesday night time, with the followers in Dodger Stadium wanting on, maybe slightly nervously, Darvish was unable to rebound from his struggles in Game Three. The leadoff hitter, the Astros’ George Springer, doubled, and by the point the highest of the primary was over it was already 2-Zero, Houston.

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The prime of the second was no higher. With a runner on base and the rating, Three-Zero, Darvish shook off an indication from his catcher, Austin Barnes, who had referred to as for a slider, and as a substitute threw a fastball to Springer, who drilled it into the left-field pavilion for a house run. The Astros had a 5-Zero lead that was each demoralizing and insurmountable.

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Darvish, left, was dragged into an undesirable controversy with the Astros’ Yuli Gurriel, proper, who made a racist gesture directed at him in Game Three.

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Christian Petersen/Getty Images

“The home run by Springer, that was a tough blow,” mentioned Kershaw, the Dodgers’ ace, who pitched 4 scoreless innings in aid after Darvish departed, to no avail.

Dave Roberts, the Dodgers’ supervisor, dismissed questions afterward about whether or not Darvish ought to have even began Game 7, contemplating how poorly he had carried out in Game Three. Some puzzled if Alex Wood may need been a more sensible choice, and even Kershaw, who would have been beginning the sport on simply two days’ relaxation. But Roberts didn’t badume both of these choices was life like.

And even after the Dodgers had fallen behind, Three-Zero, within the second inning, Roberts mentioned, he thought Darvish’s pitches have been ok to permit him to face Springer for the second time within the recreation. It was a call which may hang-out Roberts for a while, however at the least he had the correct evaluation of the end result.

“I think anything other than a homer,” he mentioned dryly, “would have been considerably better.”

The one factor Darvish did do efficiently was retire Yuli Gurriel to finish the primary inning. It was Gurriel, the Astros’ first baseman, who made the racist gesture about Darvish’s facial look after he homered off him in Game Three. The gesture initiated an uproar that led to Gurriel’s receiving a five-game suspension for the beginning of the 2018 season. It additionally put Darvish within the uncomfortable place of getting to answer a multitude he didn’t create, which he did with grace and with out anger.

In flip, Gurriel, maybe taking a cue from Darvish, tipped his helmet to him earlier than he batted for the primary time on Wednesday night time. “I just tried not to hit him,” Darvish mentioned.

Many of Darvish’s teammates rallied to his badist after the incident created by Gurriel, most notably Rich Hill, the beginning pitcher for the Dodgers in Game 6. When Gurriel got here to bat for the fist time in that recreation, Hill fidgeted on the mound earlier than throwing a pitch in order that the booing from Dodgers followers might resonate longer. After Game 7, Hill expressed his admiration for Darvish, and for any athlete who has the braveness to compete, and probably fail, in public.

Whether Hill and Darvish stay teammates will not be sure. Darvish will turn out to be a free agent, and whereas he mentioned on Wednesday that he want to return to the Dodgers, free company can go in unpredictable instructions. What is definite is that Darvish stays undeterred by what occurred to him within the final week.

“I would like to come back in the World Series,” he mentioned. “And I want to pitch better.”

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