The Los Angeles Dodgers were lauded for bolstering their starting rotation at the non-waiver deadline by trading for Yu Darvish, once an ace on the Texas Rangers staff. Yet, in his five weeks with the team, Darvish hasn’t quite lived up to expectations.
He was dominant in his Dodgers debut, firing seven shutout innings and striking out 10 against the New York Mets. In four starts since that point, Darvish is 1-2 with a 6.16 ERA and failed to complete more than six innings.
Opponents are batting .342/.409/.620 during that span, and the Dodgers have split his last four outings. Saturday marked a new low for the right-hander as the three-plus innings of work against the San Diego Padres was the shortest outing of his career.
This comes a couple weeks after Darvish recorded a career-low two strikeouts in six innings against the Chicago White Sox. He’d collected at least three strikeouts in each of his 124 Major League starts up to that point.
Refining mechanics continues to be a point of emphasis for the 31-year-old and the cause of recent troubles. More specifically, Darvish is having difficulty with carrying out his intentions.
“There’s a gap between what I’m thinking in my mind and what I’m actually doing on the mound,” he explained. “If I fix that, I feel I can pitch much better. As an example, sometimes I step too much to the third-base side but in my mind I’m stepping toward first-base side. It’s got me off course.
“Say you think you are walking straight, but you actually aren’t. When you’re trying to fix it, that’s frustrating, right? It’s the same thing.”
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts highlighted the number of ground balls Darvish induced as reason to remain encouraged. “We’re trending in the right direction,” Roberts added.
Darvish echoed that sentiment. “I looked at the video after the game and it was getting better,” he said. “My velocity was there, I had good stuff going and ground balls found the holes. It just wasn’t my day.”