Darvish has pitched there just once in his career, striking out nine on July 16, 2016 while with the Rangers. He allowed only two runs on two hits, but also walked four and was done after 4⅓ innings. That was just his fourth start after returning from Tommy John surgery, and was his first start after a month-long stint on the disabled list with right shoulder discomfort.
“There was still an uncertainty about coming off the Tommy John surgery and all that stuff. So it was really hard for me to focus on facing the hitters,” Darvish said Monday. “Now I feel pretty confident with all my physical stuff, and I'm having a different approach to the hitters. I'm pretty confident that I can pitch better this time.”
Darvish has allowed three total runs (two earned runs) in his last four starts — including Game 3 of the NLDS, also on the road — with 28 strikeouts and one walk in 23⅓ innings. He has allowed 11 total hits in those four games.
“Early on coming over here things sped up on him a little bit,” Dave Roberts said. “He was out of whack mechanically, but right now simplifying things and being able to repeat the delivery, I think he's gained a lot of confidence, and in turn we feel the same about him.”
In six road starts with the Dodgers, including the postseason, Darvish has a 2.23 ERA, with 44 strikeouts and five walks in 32⅓ innings.
The Dodgers didn’t face Kyle Hendricks in 2017, but he was their nemesis last year. He pitched eight strong innings against them in a win in June, then allowed one run total in two starts in the NLCS.
In five career starts against the Dodgers, including the postseason, Hendricks has a 2.20 ERA.
Hendricks led the National League in ERA in 2016 and finished third in Cy Young Award voting, and since returning in July from missing seven weeks with right-hand tendinitis this year has looked very much like that pitcher again. In his last 15 starts, Hendricks has a 2.33 ERA, with 85 strikeouts (a 23.2% K rate) and 23 walks in 85 innings.
No opposing starter has recorded an out in the sixth inning against the Dodgers this postseason. Through five playoff games, starting pitchers against them have a collective 6.30 ERA in 20 innings, with nearly as many walks (18) as strikeouts (19).
Game 3 info
Time: 6:01 p.m. PT
TV: TBS (Brian Anderson, Ron Darling, Sam Ryan)
Online: TBS.com and the Watch TBS app
Local radio: AM 570 (Charley Steiner, Rick Monday)
National radio: ESPN Radio (Dan Shulman, Aaron Boone)