Darvish, Bellinger combine to lead Dodgers past Giants
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Yu Darvish declined to say what exactly he did to get his pitching mechanics back in rhythm. The righthander would only acknowledge that he quit focusing on so many things and kept his approach simple.
Whatever it was, it worked out very well for the Dodgers.
Darvish and two relievers combined on a five-hitter, Cody Bellinger hit his 37th home run and Los Angeles won back-to-back games for the first time in nearly three weeks, beating the San Francisco Giants 4-1 on Wednesday night.
The win lowered the Dodgers’ magic number to seven for clinching the NL West crown. Los Angeles secured at least a wild-card berth in the playoffs Tuesday night with a victory that ended its 11-game losing streak, the club’s longest since
moving to the West Coast in 1958.
“Yu needed it,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “It seemed like he was on the attack, going after guys. His tempo was good. I thought he was in control the entire game. He was outstanding.”
Darvish, acquired from Texas at the July 31 trade dead- line, was 2-3 with a 5.34 ERA in six previous starts with Los Angeles but was crisp in his first career outing against San Francisco. The four-time AllStar pitched three-hit ball over seven innings, struck out five and allowed only three runners while facing one batter more than the minimum.
It came one day after Darvish’s realization that he didn’t need to worry about trying to fix too much. That simplified approach worked, although Darvish wasn’t saying what specifically he focused on.
“It’s a secret,” he said through a translator. “If I say it here, everybody’s going to start doing it. It’s not going to work, so I cannot say. I thought if I just focus on that thing that I was focusing on today, I wasn’t able to think about other stuff.”
Brandon Morrow pitched the eighth and Walker Buehler allowed a run in the ninth before striking out Denard Span to end it.