Fans of the Dodgers were set to go nuts if the front office didn’t come though for them at the trade deadline, getting them another starting pitcher to help Clayton Kershaw and Company in the playoffs. But low and behold, seemingly at the last minute, they did, trading three prospects to the Texas Rangers for right handed pitcher Yu Darvish.
The 6’5″ Darvish has spent the last four and a half seasons in Arlington, compiling a 52-39 record with a lifetime 3.42 ERA. He’s pitched in the postseason twice, losing both of those games. But that doesn’t really mean much in the long run. Darvish is pitching for a new contract, and that, whilst pitching for a team headed to the playoffs, can really light a fire under a man.
“I’ve moved to the strongest team in the middle of the season”, Darvish said in his introductory press conference. “I’ve thought, ‘What should I do if I hold them back?'”
By all accounts, the Iranian/Japanese Darvish is going to fit in just fine with his new organization. He has a long friendship with Kenta Maeda, also from Japan. He reportedly texted Maeda right after the trade, to see if there were any rules that he should know about.
“I felt a little uneasy joining a new team in the middle of the season, but there are a lot of good people here and I feel I’m starting to blend in,” Darvish told reporters.
Kershaw seemed to know that Darvish would be on the team at this point.
“I’ll see you in three weeks,” he told Darvish in Miami at the All-Star game.
The acquisition of the four time All-Star pitcher told the team that this year, they are all in. This is the team, and they are going for it.
Now all Darvish has to do is produce. His first start for his new team will be tonight, in New York against the Mets. He will face off against Jacob deGrom, who is 12-4 on the season with a 3.29 ERA. The last time the Dodgers played it Mets, some of the kooky magic that this team has was just starting to show. Los Angeles swept the Mets in that four game series, which included Pedro Baez batting for himself and drawing a walk. That was in the midst of the Dodgers winning 13 of 14 games, and the roll has not slowed much since then.
Other News and Notes:
The Mets’ top prospect will be making his New York debut tonight. Amed Rosario, a 21-year-old shortstop made his major league debut earlier this week in Colorado. His first hit was an infield hit, as the young man is quite the speedster. He was the number two overall prospect in baseball, according to MLB Pipeline.
The Mets are coming off a blown game in which the relief pitcher, Hansel Robles, neglected to tell his manager and trainer that he had numbness in his hand, and could no longer feel the grip of the ball. He proceeded to throw the ball 96 MPH anyway, sending it to the backstop and allowing the winning run to score. Let’s hope no craziness like that happens in this series.
If the pitching rotation holds up, Darvish would be set up to make his Dodgers Stadium debut on August 16th, which is also his 31st birthday. Darvish already has a win at Dodger Stadium, as he pitched for Team Japan in the 2009 World Baseball Classic.
The Dodgers can replicate or better the 42-8 streak from 2013. They currently are at 41-7 in their last 48 games.
(FOLLOW ANDY ON TWITTER: @DODGERSANDYINPA)