Rafu Staff and Wire Service Reports
San Diego Padres pitcher Yu Darvish will start Game 1 of the National League Championship Series against the Philadelphia Phillies, the club said Sunday.
In Tuesday’s NLCS opener at Petco Park in San Diego, Darvish will face a lineup that includes NL home run champion Kyle Schwarber and Bryce Harper, who has hit .435 (10-for-23) in six games so far this postseason.
The veteran right-hander won both of his previous two postseason starts in matchups against pitching greats Max Scherzer and Clayton Kershaw.
In Game 1 of the Wild Card Series on Oct. 7, Darvish pitched seven innings of one-run ball in a 7-1 rout of the New York Mets.
Five days later, he allowed three runs and struck out seven in five-plus innings, leading the Padres to a 5-3 victory over the Dodgers in Game 2 of the Division Series.
“All of the home runs were solos, so there’s no need to be too negative,” Darvish said. “It’s the playoffs, so all I’m thinking about is the team winning in the end.”
Machado gave the Padres a 1-0 lead with his home run in the first before Freddie Freeman tied it for the Dodgers with his two-out solo blast in the bottom of the inning.
The Dodgers went up 2-1 in the second when Max Muncy sent Darvish’s 2-2 slider over the fence behind center field.
The pitch to Muncy before the home run was called a ball, bringing howls at the home plate umpire from the Padres, believing it was clearly a strike.
“Yeah, I thought it was a strike, but we won today, so who cares?” Darvish said in English afterward.
Former Nippon Professional Baseball reliever Robert Suarez pitched the Padres out of trouble in the bottom of the sixth after replacing Darvish. The Venezuelan right-hander struck out Justin Turner, then got Gavin Lux to ground into a double play.