Dodgers News: Yu Darvish Fought Concern And Nerves In Debut
Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

When Yu Darvish met the Los Angeles Dodgers in Atlanta the consensus from his new teammates, manager Dave Roberts and members of the media was he represented an imposing figure. More so than some anticipated in spite of Darvish being listed at 6 feet 5 inches tall and 220 pounds.

Darvish’s frame shouldered plenty of expectations, no matter his mixed bag of results with the Texas Rangers this season. He’s been pegged as a second ace to Clayton Kershaw and vital to the Dodgers winning their first World Series since 1988.

Dodgers general manager Farhan Zaidi downplayed any concern over Darvish’s shortcomings, and Friday night at Citi Field certainly validated that stance. That was despite the right-hander admitting to taking the mound for his Dodgers debut under pressure and some concerns, via SportsNet LA:

“I was really worried because the Dodgers have such great pitchers. I didn’t want to pitch bad in my first outing compared to the other guys. I’m just glad I pitched good today.”

Darvish added the nerves were related to allowing a career-high 10 earned runs in just 3.2 innings his last time on the mound:

“It’s not just about being a Dodger and my first outing or anything like that. I gave up 10 runs in my last outing. So I was a little concerned about that. That was the nervousness.”

Darvish’s only real brush with some trouble came in the first inning. Miguel Conforto lined the first pitch he saw into right field for a single. Jay Bruce walked with one out, and Yoenis Cespedes deep flyout left runners at the corners.

Curtis Granderson hit a line drive that Darvish needed all of his stature to snag for the third out. From there the Dodgers continued to add to their lead, which was welcomed run support for the soon-to-be-31-year-old.

Darvish held the New York Mets to only three hits, issued one walk, and collected 10 strikeouts over seven shutout innings. Per Elias Sports, he became the first Dodgers pitcher since 1900 to have a minimum of 10 strikeouts and one walk or fewer in his debut with the team.