Dodgers Advance to the NLCS Behind Yu Darvish’s Dominant Start

PHOENIX, AZ - OCTOBER 09: Starting pitcher Yu Darvish
PHOENIX, AZ - OCTOBER 09: Starting pitcher Yu Darvish /

The Dodgers came into game 3 with a commanding 2-0 lead over the Diamondbacks and looked to Yu Darvish to give them the series victory. After the homer fest against Clayton Kershaw and the short outing by Rich Hill, the Dodgers were looking for a solid start out of their deadline acquisition. What he gave them was more than enough to advance to the NLCS.

After struggling to find himself in the first few starts after coming to the Dodgers, Darvish was able to end the season on a strong note. As he gave up only 1 earned run over his final 19.1 innings. He faced his biggest task this season against the Diamondbacks, and he pitched well under the big lights.

Darvish gave the Dodgers 5 innings where he struck out 7 batters and walked none. Over these 5 innings, he gave up two hits, a bunt single to Ketel Marte and a solo home run to Daniel Descalso. Other than that, Darvish looked dominant as ever.

Yu Darvish was cruising through the first 6 innings, and it looked like he was going to be able to get in another inning or two as he was only at about 70 pitches to start the 6th. However, Darvish ran into a little trouble with Christian Walker as he almost hit him with one pitch and proceeded to hit the brim of his helmet on the next pitch. After this trouble, Robert quickly took out Darvish, which I didn’t have a problem with, as there was little room for error.

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A controversial decision came from Roberts in the previous inning as he left Darvish in to bat with a runner on third. With a close game in the balance, some would say to pinch hit for Darvish and get a better chance at the insurance run. In retrospect, the decision looks bad because Roberts had such quick hook for Darvish the next inning. However, at the time it seemed like the right decision as Darvish was on a roll and I didn’t see a need to take him out.

Overall, Darvish looked very good which was exactly what the Dodgers needed out of him. They traded Willie Calhoun and others to get Darvish for this very reason, and he made the front office look like geniuses.

In previous postseason starts for the Rangers, Darvish did not fare so well. Last year, Darvish gave up five runs on four home runs against the Blue Jays. He also faced the Baltimore Orioles in the 2012 Wild Card game and allowed two earned runs over 6.2 innings. Needless, to say this was the best postseason outing of his career, and the best the Dodgers have had in the first three games.

Next: Dodgers Advance to NLCS

The Dodgers took a big gamble at the trade deadline by trading for Darvish and so far it looks to have paid off. He was his usual dominant ace self and proved why he is still one of the best pitchers in all of baseball.