The Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres have all the makings of becoming one of the best rivalries in baseball, with each of their games this year resembling a postseason battle.
The season series so far is tied 2-2, and the teams still have 15 additional matchups against each other. The Padres are looking to prove they can hang with the defending World Series champions after revamping their roster this past offseason.
San Diego added a pair of All-Stars to their starting rotation in Blake Snell and Yu Darvish. The latter of course pitched for the Dodgers during the second half of the 2017 season.
Darvish had some memorable moments in L.A., but his stay was brief as he went on to sign a lucrative contract with the Chicago Cubs. Now back in the National League West, Darvish welcomed the possibility of Dodgers fans booing him when he pitches at Dodger Stadium, via Dylan Hernandez of the L.A. Times:
“I’m on the Padres now,” he said. “We’re challengers to the Dodgers. So it’s not as if I’m going to be hurt just because I’m booed. I also think booing is one of the things fans look forward to doing at the stadium. So please write that if they want to do it, I would like for them to not be overly considerate of my feelings and enjoy booing as loud as they can.”
Prior to his start at Petco Park last week, Darvish faced the Dodgers only once as a member of the Cubs in 2019. He received boos, but that was before MLB concluded in an investigation the Houston Astros illegally stole signs throughout the 2017 season.
Darvish did not fare well against them in the World Series that year, taking the loss in Games 3 and 7. His struggles initially were attributed to tipping pitches, although an unnamed Dodgers player later refuted the notion after going back and watching the film. That notion was of course then supported by MLB’s discovery.
The 34-year-old faces the Dodgers on Friday in a rematch against Clayton Kershaw. Darvish was tabbed with a tough-luck loss in their first matchup despite allowing only one run and one run over seven strong innings.
Darvish: Dodgers best team ‘in the world’
After his outing against the Dodgers last week, Darvish deemed them the best team in all of baseball, specifically praising the depth and discipline of their lineup.
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