Darvish has strong outing against Giants, and Dodgers breathe sigh of relief

Bill Shaikin, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Baseball

SAN FRANCISCO -- Andrew Friedman walked around the field before Wednesday's game, clutching a water bottle, smiling easily.

Tuesday had been good to the Los Angeles Dodgers. They had ensured they would not lose every game the rest of the season. They clinched a playoff spot.

Friedman's job is pretty much done for the season. As the Dodgers' president of baseball operations, his primary role is to assemble a championship roster. For the first time in his three years with the Dodgers, he went all in, surrendering a top prospect to acquire Yu Darvish.

Game 1 goes to Clayton Kershaw, of course.

Game 2 is supposed to go to Darvish, but his September had not been auspicious. So Friedman and the Dodgers breathed an ample sigh of relief Wednesday, when Darvish worked seven shutout innings in a 4-1 victory over the San Francisco Giants.

The Dodgers had six hits, all for extra bases. Cody Bellinger homered, tripled and drove in three runs. The pitching tag team -- Darvish to Brandon Morrow to rookie Walker Buehler -- might represent the best arms they can throw without using Kershaw or Kenley Jansen.

Darvish, like Kershaw, is allowed to pitch deep into games. For the second time in his six weeks with the Dodgers, Darvish completed seven innings.

That is not depth the Dodgers will expect of their other projected playoff starters. Rich Hill has thrown more than 100 pitches twice this season. Alex Wood has not hit 100 at all this season.

In his previous 7 1/3 innings, Darvish had given up 10 runs and 13 hits.

In his seven innings Wednesday, Darvish gave up no runs and three hits, all singles. He faced one batter over the minimum, in part because the Giants ran themselves into two double plays. He walked none, struck out five and got seven outs on ground balls.


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