Considered the jewel of the July 31 trade deadline, Yu Darvish arrived to the Los Angeles Dodgers with a lot of hype and a big opportunity.
Unfortunately, when it came time to back up the hype and capitalize on that opportunity in the World Series, Darvish came up well short. As the Dodgers starting pitcher in Games 3 and 7, the 31-year-old right-hander was unable to get through two innings in either start. Darvish allowed nine runs (eight earned) on nine hits and two walks while retiring a total of 10 batters.
It was not pretty for Darvish, and three days after the fact he was still feeling pretty terrible about it. He made that much clear, telling TMZ Sports on Saturday, “Dodger fans expected to win the World Series. I couldn’t do it. I still feel sorry,”
The interview is kind of painful to watch because you can see the anguish on his face and hear it in his voice. He wanted to be a part of the Dodgers winning a championship and he had a great opportunity for redemption in Game 7. The Astros just had his number.
According to the blog Dodgers Nation, that may have been because Darvish was tipping his pitches. They cite an Eduardo Perez interview on ESPN’s Mike and Mike the day after Game 7, in which Perez says the following about Darvish’s tendencies on the hill:
All of a sudden I realize, his right hand, every time he’s going to throw the fastball, puts it in and it never moves because he already has the grip. But every time he’s going to throw the slider, and you see a little bit of movement. That’s all you need.
Yahoo Sports’ Jeff Passan reported that Darvish was tipping pitches during his final outing with the Rangers on July 29. Darvish allowed a career-high 10 runs to the Marlins on that night. He later acknowledged that report was true. That history is something teams will be looking at closely now that Darvish is headed for free agency.
The TMZ Sports reporter also questioned Darvish on whether it was possible he would return to the Dodgers. For the lack of a better term, Darvish effectively dodged the question. He would only say the Dodgers were still the best team despite losing the World Series.
They’re also the richest, which would help their cause if Darvish is a priority. Though it’s also possible both sides will be ready to move on after the season ended on such a disappointing note.
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