Yu Darvish is familiar with the Houston Astros, but that didn’t matter on Friday night.
Yu Darvish picked a bad time for the shortest start of his MLB career. The Houston Astros have been great at home all postseason, and they showed in Game 3 of the World Series why that comfort level more than makes up for facing a pitcher who knows them well.
Darvish, of course, played for the Texas Rangers until July of this year, so he’s faced the Astros a bunch of times. Much was made of the fact that he’s pitched them pretty well, even in Houston.
After allowing a leadoff double to George Springer, he didn’t have too much trouble in the first inning, retiring three straight.
The second was a different story. Yuli Gurriel led off the inning for Houston with a solo shot to left field, his first of the postseason. Josh Reddick followed that with a double, then Evan Gattis drew a walk. Two straight RBI singles made it 3-0 Astros, and a sacrifice fly by Alex Bregman tacked on another run.
It could have been worse, as Jose Altuve drove a ball to left that looked like it might be gone but instead ricocheted off the wall for a double. Still, that was enough for Dave Roberts, who elected to summon Kenta Maeda. The move paid off, as Maeda got Carlos Correa to fly out harmlessly, ending the inning.
Still, the damage was done, and Darvish’s final line was ugly: 1 2/3 IP, six hits and four runs, all earned.
The Dodgers loaded the bases on walks in the top of the third but managed to get only one run back. There’s still plenty of baseball to be played in Game 3, but the Astros struck first and struck hard, and Darvish will want to put this night behind him in a hurry in case he gets to pitch another game in this World Series.