Sunday, November 5, 2017

Yu Darvish In The Nippon Series

As you probably already know, the World Series wrapped up last Wednesday with the Astros beating the Dodgers in Game Seven to win their first World Series Championship ever.  Had the Dodgers won, Yu Darvish would have been the latest player to ever win both a World Series and Nippon Series - by my count he would have been the twelfth player to do it.

It can be said that Darvish's performance in the World Series is part of the reason that the Dodgers didn't win.  He certainly didn't pitch at the level that anyone would have expected.  He was knocked out of both his starts in the second inning, giving up eight runs on nine hits and two walks with no strikeouts in 3 1/3 total innings.  He took the loss in both of his starts (Games Three and Seven).  He pitched pretty well in his other two post season starts this season - beating the Diamondbacks in the first round and the Cubs in the NLCS.

His Nippon Series appearances with the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters went much better than his World Series appearances with the Dodgers.  He first played in the Nippon Series in 2006 against the Chunichi Dragons when he was just 20 years old.  He started Game One and had what would turn out to be his poorest Nippon Series start ever - he took the loss after giving up three runs in six innings on five hits, four walks and a hit batter although he struck out six.  The Fighters ended up losing the game 4-2 but it was the only game they'd lose in the Series.  Darvish came back five days later to start Game Five - going 7 1/3 innings allowing only one run despite giving up eight hits and three walks (and again striking out six).  The Fighters won the game and the Series 4-1 and Darvish won an "Outstanding Player" award for his performance.  This was the Fighters' first Nippon Series championship since 1962 when they were the Toei Flyers and played in Tokyo.

2006 BBM Nippon Series #S02

2006 BBM Nippon Series #S60 (Outstanding Player Award)
2007 saw the Fighters back in the Nippon Series against the Dragons again.  This Series was almost a mirror image of the 2006 Series.  Darvish again started Game One and this time had a complete game victory - striking out 13 while giving up one run on four hits and three walks.  This would end up being the only game that the Fighters would win in the Series.  Five days later, he took the mound for Game Five and pitched well enough to win - giving up only one run on five hits and two walks while striking out 11 in seven innings.  Unfortunately for Darvish and the Fighters, Daisuke Yamai and Hitoki Iwase of the Dragons combined for a perfect game and the Dragons won the game 1-0 and the Series 4 games to 1 (it was the Dragons' first Nippon Series Championship since 1953).  Darvish won the "Fighting Spirit" award which is kind of an MVP award for the losing team.

2007 BBM Nippon Series #S30

2007 BBM Nippon Series #S63 (Fighting Spirit Award)
The Fighters returned to the Series in 2009, this time against the Yomiuri Giants.  Darvish started Game Two for his sole appearance in the Series.  He went six innings, striking out seven while giving up two runs on seven hits and no walks.  He got credit for the 4-2 win, one of only two that the Fighters got in the Series ultimately won by the Giants in six games.  He did not win any of the Series awards this time.

2009 BBM Nippon Series #S30
Overall Darvish made five Nippon Series starts, going 3-2 while striking out 43 in 35 1/3 innings.  He gave up 8 runs on 29 hits and walked 12.  His ERA was 2.04.


Doe M.G. said...

I didn't care who won the World Series this year, but I was really rooting for Darvish to pitch well.

Fuji said...

Although I was pulling for the Astros, Altuve, and Reddick... I was also for rooting for specific Dodgers. Darvish and Maeda were two of them.

Anonymous said...

They said he was tipping his pitches which may have accounted for his poor performance.