Padres’ Yu Darvish looks to extend scoreless run in clash vs. Yanks

Field Level Media

May 24, 2024 at 12:06 pm.

It’s pretty hard to pitch any better than Yu Darvish has as the San Diego Padres head into the opener of their three-game series against the visiting New York Yankees on Friday night.

All Darvish (4-1, 2.08 ERA) has done since coming off the injured list on April 30 is record 24 straight scoreless innings. Tack on one more before his IL stint and he takes that career-best streak into Friday’s game.

What’s more, Darvish is the first pitcher in team history to enjoy four consecutive starts of at least five scoreless innings. Given that San Diego has employed Cy Young Award winners such as Randy Jones, Gaylord Perry and Jake Peavy, that’s saying something.

Darvish’s latest masterpiece came in Atlanta on Sunday when he allowed just two hits and struck out nine in seven innings of his team’s 9-1 win. It was the right-hander’s 200th career victory between Nippon Professional Baseball (93) and MLB (107).

“He’s been elite the last four times out,” Padres manager Mike Shildt said. “He’s been nothing short of magnificent. Two hundred career wins between Japan and Major League Baseball — that is an impressive feat.”

Darvish has crafted a few of his impressive feats against New York, going 3-2 with a 3.07 ERA in seven career starts. In 41 innings, he’s struck out 45 and walked just seven while allowing seven homers.

San Diego enters this series off a 5-2 road trip that it closed Thursday with a 6-4 win in 10 innings over the Cincinnati Reds. Fernando Tatis Jr. snapped a tie in the 10th inning with an RBI double to left field, and Jake Cronenworth added a sacrifice fly.

The catalyst offensively has been leadoff hitter Luis Arraez, who recorded his second straight four-hit performance. He has at least two hits in eight straight games.

“We played hard. If we play hard, we win a lot of games,” Arraez said on Padres TV after Thursday’s game.

Meanwhile, the Yankees fly west after salvaging a four-game split with the visiting Seattle Mariners. Luis Gil pitched 6 1/3 scoreless innings and Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge each hit a solo homer in New York’s 5-0 win on Thursday.

Left-hander Carlos Rodon (5-2, 3.27 ERA) will take the mound in the series opener for New York. Rodon last worked on Sunday, when he allowed two runs in six innings in a 7-2 win over the Chicago White Sox.

Rodon is 1-2 with a 3.79 ERA in three career outings against San Diego, giving up just 12 hits in 19 innings but walking 10 with 20 strikeouts.

The weekend will serve as a homecoming of sorts for Yankees outfielder Juan Soto, who played the last two months of 2022 and all of the 2023 season for the Padres before being dealt to New York. Soto, 25, has starred in pinstripes, hitting .312 with 13 homers and 41 RBIs.

It might be the only year he plays in New York. His free agency could net him a half-billion-dollar deal, and owner Hal Steinbrenner publicly isn’t committing to spending that kind of money, although he’s praising Soto’s efforts so far.

“I had no doubt Juan Soto would perform in New York,” Steinbrenner said.

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