Yu Darvish is known to put pressure on himself and, since he was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers, there is a sense around that team that he wants to prove himself to his new teammates. The perception in the room is that he wants to demonstrate that he was a worthy addition as a finishing piece to a championship-caliber team. Human nature.
As if all of that isn’t enough: Darvish has many tens of millions of dollars on the line as a potential free agent this fall, and the 2017 season hasn’t gone according to plan for him.
In 22 starts with the Texas Rangers, Darvish posted a 4.01 ERA, surrendering 20 homers in 137 1/3 innings. Darvish had a 5.34 ERA in his first six starts for L.A. before he shut out the Giants for seven innings last week, and as he takes the mound Tuesday against the Philadelphia Phillies, there is still time for final revisions before he reaches the open market. He’s got a couple more starts in the regular season, before getting at least one postseason outing. Darvish could still help himself, much in the way the following players have.