Yu Darvish pitched seven shutout innings, allowing only three hits and one walk but striking out ten batters in his Dodgers debut, leading Los Angeles to a 6-0 victory over the Mets. Chris Taylor led off the game with a solo home run and Yasiel Puig hit a solo shot of his own. Despite the usual Boos from Mets fans, Chase Utley hit a two run home run.
Yu Darvish could not have done much better in his Dodgers debut than he did on Friday night. After having a tougher first inning, Darvish settled in nicely. He threw 99 pitches (68 for strikes). the Mets only got four base-runners against Darvish in the entire game. He struck out ten Mets batters, eight swings and misses and two looking.
The only time the Mets threatened was in the first inning before Darvish had settled in. Mets’ leadoff man, Michael Conforto hit the first pitch of the game into right field for a single. Then after striking out Asdrubal Cabrera for his first K as a Dodger, Darvish walked Jay Bruce. Conforto then advanced to third base on a sacrifice fly, putting Darvish in an early jam. Curtis Granderson then lined out to end the threat.
While Darvish dominated his Dodgers debut, Mets’ starter Jacob deGrom was much worse. He lasted only five innings and allowed three earned runs. The Dodgers drove his pitch count up from the very beginning of the game. In the first at bat of the game, Chris Taylor worked a nine-pitch at bat. As if that wasn’t good enough, Taylor then hit the ninth pitch of the at bat for a home run. The ball went over the wall in left-center field and the Dodgers had a 1-0 lead.
Yasiel Puig decided to provide more runs for his new teammate in the second inning. On his 36th pitch of the game, deGrom hung a curveball against the Wild Horse. Puig drove it into the seats in center field for a solo home run. Puig, who struggled early in the year, had just given the Dodgers a 2-0 lead.
After picking up another run in the fifth inning when Corey Seager scored on a double play, the Dodgers got back to business in the sixth inning. With a runner on first base and one out, Chase Utley came to the plate. After being booed as he stepped into the batter’s box, Utley hit a splitter over the heart of the plate. As he does every time he visits Citi Field, Utley responded to all the booing by hitting a monstrous home run. This one traveled 407 feet from home plate and landed in the second deck. The Dodgers had extended their lead to 5-0.
The Dodgers went on to win it 6-0. Yu Darvish got his first win as a Dodger, tossing seven shutout innings and striking out ten.The Dodgers’ bullpen allowed only two base runners over the two innings they pitched. Any Dodger fans at Citi Field went back to their hotels happy, as did the Dodgers. The Dodger fans who were watching TV or listening to the radio also were happy for the rest of the night. The Mets fans, however, went home frustrated, as did Jacob deGrom.
Keys To The Game:
Driving Up the Pitch Count:
The Dodgers drove up the pitch count of Jacob deGrom very early. The way that they did it was simple: nine at bats against deGrom had at least six pitches. Chris Taylor’s leadoff home run came on the ninth pitch of his at bat. The rest of the Dodgers followed suit. Not only does driving up the pitch count limit the innings a pitcher will pitch, it also gives information to your teammates about what the pitcher’s pitches look like.
Yu Darvish was in trouble in the first inning, with runners on first and third and two outs. Curtis Granderson was the batter and the Dodgers have trouble getting him out. Darvish, however, knew what to do. He got Granderson to hit a line drive above his head. All Darvish did was reach up and catch it, ending the inning. It probably helps that Darvish stands at 6’5″. Darvish is taller than me by more than a foot, so take it from a short person, it’s much easier to make the play when you’re tall.
Player of the Game:
This was not hard to decide. Yu Darvish was the player of the game. Of course, if you have a different opinion, please comment below. My reasons for picking Darvish were simple. Who else is there to pick when Darvish pitches seven shutout innings in his Dodgers debut? He was completely dominant. According to the Dodgers’ radio announcer, Charlie Steiner, Darvish was doing everything perfectly. Also, not only was Darvish changing his pitches, he has four different types, he also changed the speed of his pitches. That made it seem like he was throwing eight different kinds of pitches.
The National League Pitcher of the Month for July, Rich Hill, will take the mound for the Dodgers and Seth Lugo will pitch for the Mets. In his last start against the Mets, Hill pitched five innings and allowed one run. Since then, he has become much more dominant. Lugo gave up five runs in five innings against the Mariners in his last start. The game is scheduled for 1:05 pm PT and it will be televised on SportsNet LA and FS1.