Can’t we skip the subsequent two months? Can’t the postseason begin, like, now?
It wasn’t solely the sight of Darvish doing just about no matter he needed as he restricted the Mets to 3 hits over seven scoreless innings. It was the thought of how his arsenal would play in a 5- or seven-recreation collection.
Think about a recovered Clayton Kershaw in Recreation 1, his fastball, slider and curveball from the left aspect, adopted by Darvish in Recreation 2, with an much more highly effective fastball and a greater variety of breaking pitches from the proper.
Oh, and if that’s not uncomfortable sufficient for opposing hitters, there’s left-handed contortionist Alex Wooden in Recreation three, showing to ship pitches from behind his head.
Supervisor Dave Roberts has warned his group towards wanting forward, however even he couldn’t forestall his thoughts from considering the 6-zero victory resembled the longer term.
“You don’t need to say playoff environment, however …” Roberts stated.
Darvish’s 10-strikeout efficiency served as early validation of the entrance workplace’s choice to accumulate the Japanese proper-hander from the Texas Rangers in change for 3 prospects. Not as if that required any sort of genius. Even the passionate however easy-minded followers who make calls to postgame radio packages knew this was the fitting transfer to make.
Listening to Roberts catalog the pitches Darvish threw at Citi Subject defined why.
“The slider … the change … the cutter … the 2-seam, 4-seam …” Roberts stated.
Catcher Yasmani Grandal was delighted to have so many weapons at his disposal, saying, “You have got motion coming from prime to backside, aspect to aspect.”
The unpredictability for hitters went past the kinds of pitches.
“He is aware of when to placed on and take off [velocity],” Grandal stated. “You noticed fastballs from ninety mph to ninety seven mph. It’s fairly onerous so that you can get good strong contact.”
Grandal smiled when requested what it will be like for a hitter to face Kershaw at some point and Darvish the subsequent.
“You higher not strike out 3 times the primary recreation,” Grandal stated.
The implication: You possibly can strike out three extra occasions within the second.
Kershaw stays on the disabled record with a again damage, but when he returns as anticipated, he and Darvish could possibly be this yr’s model of the Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling tandem that made the Arizona Diamondbacks the World Collection champions in 2001.
Davish’s maiden begin was affirmation of the widespread suspicions his statistics didn’t precisely painting the caliber of pitcher he’s. He entered the sport with a 6-9 report, his final victory coming in mid-June.
However his gained-loss mark was extra of a measure of the Rangers’ offensive impotence, because the staff scored solely eight runs in his final eight begins whereas he was nonetheless within the recreation.
With Chris Taylor blasting a solo house run within the first inning Friday and Yasiel Puig doubling the benefit within the second, Darvish stated, in Japanese, he recalled considering, “Huh, they rating this simply.”
He additionally discovered consolation in Grandal’s reputed pitch-framing potential.
“Grandal was capable of flip some balls into strikes, so I capable of actually let go of the baseball, considering I simply had throw it near the zone,” Darvish stated.
The strain of October can’t be replicated within the common season, however, as Roberts stated, the environment at Citi Area was as shut as it’ll get. Darvish acknowledged he was anxious Friday night time and never solely as a result of he was making his first begin for a brand new workforce.
“The final time I pitched, I gave up 10 runs,” he stated, referring to his final begin with the Rangers, which inflated his ERA from three.forty four to four.01. He stated he requested himself, “Wouldn’t I be in hassle if I do this once more?”
, He didn’t. His handed his first check of nerves.
When Darvish was ending taking questions at a postgame information convention, he requested the reporters to ship a message to Mets starter Jacob deGrom on his behalf.
“DeGrom obtained successful off me and stole a base,” he stated. “And once I struck out in my first at-bat, I harm my thumb.”
Darvish raised his non-pitching hand, displaying his left thumb was taped.
“Please inform him I’ll get my revenge,” he joked.
Revenge should wait.
DeGrom gained’t be pitching in October. Darvish will probably be.
Comply with Dylan Hernandez on Twitter @dylanohernandez