Yu Darvish overcomes ghosts of past in Padres’ win over Dodgers

The day ahead of scaling the similar mound on which he persevered the worst evening of his occupation, Yu Darvish visited the interview room at Dodger Stadium.

While a reporter used to be in the center of asking a query, the San Diego Padres right-hander stated in Japanese to nobody in specific, “It’s a sayonara.”

Darvish’s eyes have been fastened on a tv that hung at the wall to his correct, which confirmed Yordan Álvarez circling the bases and the Houston Astros celebrating their walk-off victory over the Seattle Mariners.

The ghosts of Darvish’s past have been far and wide.

Darvish hasn’t ever downplayed his historical past right here. He has said how dropping Game 7 of the 2017 World Series for the Dodgers towards the sign-stealing Astros affected him, how getting better from that unhappiness reinforced him to be the type of competitor worthy of main the pitching group of workers of a group with championship aspirations.

Looking forward to his get started the following day, Darvish stated, “I think I will be able to show a different image of myself.”

His instinct used to be correct.

Wednesday evening, Darvish defeated his former group in Game 2 of their National League Division Series, main the Padres to a 5-3 victory that leveled the best-of-five collection 1-1.

He didn’t have his supreme of video games. He gave up solo homers in each and every of the primary 3 innings. He finished best 5 innings, taken out of the sport with runners at the corners and no outs in the 6th.

None of that mattered to him.

Asked a few neglected strike-three name ahead of Max Muncy’s second-inning house run, Darvish spoke back in English, “I thought that was a strike, but we won today, so who cares?”

About an hour ahead of the sport, Darvish walked into middle box and dropped to a knee. He concept concerning the ultimate time he pitched a postseason recreation right here and the way his circle of relatives absorbed his World Series failure.

“I caused my family a lot of pain,” Darvish stated in Japanese. “I wanted to be able to send my family home today with feelings of joy.”

Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw jumps after giving up a run-scoring double to San Diego's Manny Machado.

Dodgers beginning pitcher Clayton Kershaw jumps after giving up a run-scoring double to San Diego’s Manny Machado right through the 3rd inning Wednesday.

(Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)

Darvish stated he changed into emotional when he checked Major League Baseball’s reliable website online, which indexed him and Clayton Kershaw as the sport’s beginning pitchers.

“After the playoffs in 2017, the person who protected me and my family the most was Kershaw,” Darvish stated. “I always thought it would be nice to pitch against him in an important game like this. That finally happened.”

Darvish has credited Kershaw with serving to him regroup after the crushing World Series enjoy. Kershaw hadn’t but gained a hoop and Darvish used to be painfully mindful of how determined he used to be for a championship. Not best did Kershaw no longer cling his Game 7 efficiency towards him, the three-time Cy Young Award winner invited him to figure out close to their offseason properties in suburban Dallas.

If the sport Wednesday evening afforded Darvish a possibility to replicate on his enlargement over the ultimate 5 years, it additionally marked Kershaw’s go back to October baseball.

Kershaw sat out the playoffs ultimate 12 months as a result of of arm hassle.

Charged with 3 runs and 6 hits, Kershaw used to be got rid of after 5 onerous innings with the ranking tied, 3-3. His early departure, which adopted a get started of the similar period the day past via Julio Urías, additional strained the bullpen. Brusdar Graterol gave up a run in the 6th inning, Blake Treinen gave up every other in the 8th, and that used to be the sport.

“I definitely had some traffic all day,” Kershaw stated. “Could have been a lot worse, for sure. I had to pitch out of jams basically every inning.”

Darvish got here to appreciate Kershaw’s resilience in the 3 months he performed for the Dodgers once they received him on the business cut-off date in 2017.

“On the days of his starts, he gets really into it,” Darvish stated. “He doesn’t speak to anyone. Watching the way he cornered himself, I could feel how much he put on himself when he pitched.”

The sense of accountability as a group’s No. 1 pitcher is one thing Darvish has step by step realized to just accept in his years since leaving the Dodgers.

He spent 3 years with the Chicago Cubs, who traded him to the Padres ahead of ultimate season.

In each and every of his two seasons with the Padres, Darvish used to be the group’s opening day starter. He used to be additionally their Game 1 starter in their wild-card collection towards the New York Mets ultimate weekend. He gained that recreation too.

Now, he sounded as though he have been making ready to do one thing else Kershaw has been recognized to do in the postseason: get started on 3 days’ relaxation.

Asked if he may just pitch in reduction in a hypothetical 5th and ultimate recreation of this collection, Darvish spoke back, “I plan to pitch at the end — as a starter, of course.”

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