Dodgers: Darvish Is Ready to Dice
By Drew Gabruch
In gearing up for the biggest game of his career, Yu Darvish will be taking the mound in Game 3 of the World Series for the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Darvish made his most recent start in Game 3 of the NLCS against the Chicago Cubs. Seeing as it has been ten days since his last outing, there might be some worry with the Dodgers’ right-hander having too much rest in-between starts.
However, there is no reason to view substantial rest as an issue for Darvish, and hopefully, he will be able to use the days of energy and preparation to come out firing with his best stuff.
After being tagged for only one run against Chicago, Yu needs to focus on attacking the zone with unpredictable sequences in the first couple of innings. Utilizing the corners and expanding the zone will come along if he sees an impatient Houston lineup.
In addition to Darvish’s only earned-run against the Cubs, it came in the very first inning. While he was able to cruise through their order from top-to-bottom after the Kyle Schwarber long ball, avoiding traffic on the bases early in the game is what needs to be stressed.
Houston has some more confidence on their side at the plate after their bats seemed to heat up in Game 2 at Dodger Stadium, but Darvish is more than capable of being one of the most disruptive pitchers in the league when he needs to throw off the timing of hitters.
Maybe calling for the odd 65 mph changeup will be in the books, merely ramping up on a good heater or even pitching backwards could lead to success for Darvish – as he will try to quiet a hungry Houston lineup at home.
Game 3 of the World Series will be the third time that Darvish has faced the Houston Astros this year. This could come into play as a valuable component regarding experience. In his first outing against them, Darvish yielded three earned-runs while striking out eight batters through 5.0 innings of work – also throwing 104 pitches (68 strikes). So, he knows how to make them swing and miss, but he did surrender a home run.
Rolling around to his most recent start against the ‘Stros, a different Yu showed up to play. Through a total of 7.0 innings pitched, Yu threw 103 pitches (62 strikes), and only allowed one earned run to go with four strikeouts and three walks. Clearly, there was a different way he went about his game plan for his last outing against the Astros; and to further the performance, the last time he mopped them up was at Minute Maid Park. And throughout his career, this ballpark has been one of his favorites to pitch at.
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Moving forward into this matchup between Yu Darvish and Lance McCullers Jr., there will be a lot of buzz around the Houston crowd, and on the bench. As for the Dodgers, they’ll have their fans, but Darvish needs to harness his emotions on the road, as he did well in Arizona and Chicago, and fire the right pitches early in order to settle in. Once the offense does their job for Yu, he will be able to cruise nicely to a strong outing in Houston.