When the Dodgers boarded the team plane Monday, they already owned the best record in baseball, the deepest 40-man roster in the sport and the shortest odds in the sport for ending their 29-year World Series drought.
As they flew across the country, bound for a three-city trip starting in Atlanta, their front office worked the phones, finalizing plans to add a four-time All-Star starting pitcher.
In one of the more stunning moves in Andrew Friedman’s three-year tenure as president of baseball operations, the team swung a deal for Texas Rangers ace Yu Darvish in exchange for three pitching prospects. The deal was consummated only 15 minutes before the non-waiver deadline, with the Dodgers agreeing to send triple-A infielder Willie Calhoun, Class-A pitcher A.J. Alexy and Class-A infielder Brendon Davis to the Rangers.
Darvish, 6-9 with a 4.01 earned-run average this season, provides right-handed balance to a rotation fronted by the left-handed trio of Clayton Kershaw, Alex Wood and Rich Hill. Darvish can reduce the October stress on Kershaw, who is recovering from a lower back strain. And his arrival provides psychic uplift for a team that stormed through July with a 20-3 record.
“I think it will definitely be an emotional boost for the team,” general manager Farhan Zaidi said during a conference call. “It’s hard to say we need it, the way we’ve been playing.”
New York (AFP) - Japanese ace Yu Darvish dazzled in his Los Angeles Dodgers debut, throwing seven scoreless innings with 10 strikeouts in a 6-0 victory on Friday over the New York Mets.
The 30-year-old righthander from Osaka picked up his seventh win of the year and first since being acquired Monday from the Texas Rangers on Major League Baseball's trading deadline.
"He did everything we hoped he would do," said Dodgers manager Dave Roberts.
The Dodgers, who improved to 77-32 on the season, gave up three prospects to get Darvish, who allowed just three hits and one walk.
It marked the first win for Darvish since June 12. He was 0-5 with a 5.81 eaned-run average in his final eight starts for the Rangers.
Darvish became the first Dodger with 10 strikeouts in his debut since Japanese compatriot Kaz Ishii in 2002.
"It is not just about being a Dodger in my first outing," Darvish said. "I gave up 10 runs in my last outing. I was a little concerned about that. I didn't want to pitch bad in my first outing."