February 2, 2023

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Darvish deals 7 scoreless innings vs. NY

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SAN DIEGO — In case it wasn’t clear — and, sure, his numbers might be a bit bloated from one very ugly start two months ago — Yu Darvish remains one of the most electric starting pitchers in baseball. The Mets certainly wouldn’t argue otherwise.

On Tuesday night, Darvish turned in one of his most dominant performances of the season, pitching seven scoreless frames as the Padres cruised to a 7-0 victory over New York at Petco Park. The veteran right-hander carried a no-hitter into the sixth, before Mets right fielder Mark Canha broke it up with a clean single. Darvish would finish having allowed only two hits and no walks, while striking out six.

Darvish did run into a bit of trouble early, plunking three hitters in the first two innings. Two of those were back-foot sliders off the toes of Mets batters. The other was nearly very costly to New York – a fastball that caught Pete Alonso as the Mets slugger attempted to check his swing. X-rays on Alonso’s hand were negative, but he was forced to exit the game.

Darvish escaped trouble in both innings. He then retired 14 straight before Canha’s single in the sixth. Darvish departed having thrown 100 pitches through seven innings, lowering his ERA to 3.61.

That mark is wholly respectable, of course. But it doesn’t tell the full story with Darvish. He has made 11 starts this season, and a full third of the 27 earned runs he’s allowed came in one very ugly outing in San Francisco. Remove that blemish from the equation, and Darvish owns a 2.47 ERA with a 0.88 WHIP.

In short, Darvish is pitching like he has pitched for the better part of the past decade. Which is to say: Darvish is pitching like he’s still one of the best pitchers in baseball.

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