Yu Darvish: Padres Want To ‘Outperform’ Dodgers

The Los Angeles Dodgers made several high-profile additions to their roster during the offseason that have put the rest of Major League Baseball on notice.

The team committed nearly $1.2 billion to bring in the likes of Shohei Ohtani, Yoshinobu Yamamoto, Tyler Glasnow, Teoscar Hernández and James Paxton, among others. L.A. also re-signed Clayton Kershaw, Jason Heyward, Joe Kelly and Ryan Brasier.

Before the moves, the Dodgers were already considered the favorites to win the National League West in 2024. Other playoff-hopeful teams in the division include the reigning NL champion Arizona Diamondbacks, San Francisco Giants and San Diego Padres.

The Padres were expected to compete with the Dodgers last season but finished a disappointing third place in the NL West. Yu Darvish acknowledged L.A.’s impressive offseason and said San Diego is motivated to keep up with them this year, via Kyodo News:

“Things are getting even more exciting with the Dodgers’ signing of Ohtani and (Yoshinobu) Yamamoto,” Darvish said at the Padres’ spring training complex in Peoria, Arizona. “We want to outperform them as much as possible.”

Darvish noted that he is looking forward to pitching against the Dodgers and facing Ohtani for the first time as a hitter:

“I’ve never faced hitter Ohtani, but I will (this year),” Darvish said. “There will be fewer holes in their lineup. I look forward to pitching against the Dodgers.”

Darvish is entering his fourth season with the Padres and will be looking to bounce back from an inconsistent 2023 campaign that saw him go 8-10 with a 4.56 ERA, 4.03 FIP and 1.30 WHIP in 136.1 innings pitched (24 starts).

Darvish and the Padres will get the first crack at facing the Dodgers this season as the teams are scheduled to meet in the two-game Seoul Series from March 20-21.

2023 Dodgers history vs. Padres

After the Padres eliminated the Dodgers in the 2022 NL Division Series, L.A. avenged themselves by going 9-4 in 13 head-to-head meetings against San Diego during the 2023 regular season.

With MLB’s balanced schedule returning for the second consecutive season, the Dodgers and Padres will again face each other 13 times in 2024.

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