Darvish earns 1st playoff win in majors as Dodgers advance

Posted October 11, 2017

The good thing for the Dodgers is that they don't have to worry about where the game will be played. The only D-backs run came on Daniel Descalso's two-out solo homer in the fifth inning.

By the numbers, Darvish didn't have a great season, going 10-12 with a 3.86 ERA (118 ERA+) and 3.83 FIP in 186 2/3 innings split between the Rangers and Dodgers, who acquired him in a July 31 deadline blockbuster. With the bases loaded in the top of the third inning, Greinke would get out of the jam not allowing a run.

From there Greinke walked a batter in the following three innings.

Josh Reddick drove in the go-ahead run on a two-out single to left field in the eighth inning off Boston's Craig Kimbrel, who relieved starter-turned-reliever Chris Sale (0-2) in the eighth after Houston tied it. Greinke labored but prevented the Dodgers from making more headway until Cody Bellinger homered in the fifth. The D-backs replaced Greinke with LHP Jorge De La Rosa.

Pinch hitter Carlos Beltran doubled in a critical two-out insurance run in the ninth. Following Utley's ground out Arizona replaced De La Rosa with RHP David Hernandez. After holding Arizona to one run, Darvish was pulled in the sixth following a high pitch that hit Christian Walker in the helmet. Following the HBP, Darvish's day was done after 5 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 7 Ks. This could be a bad matchup for the Dodgers, putting them up against the one team that they probably didn't want to face in the divisional series round.

Dodgers Manager Dave Roberts had already said that his players wouldn't be celebrating in the pool, but the Arizona Diamondbacks made an all-out effort to ensure that it wouldn't become a Dodgers monument once again! Paul Goldschmidt paced the D-backs with a two-run homer and a walk in three at-bats.

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A quick 1-2-3 inning by Morrow in the bottom half of the seventh was followed by a 1-2-3 inning of his own by Bradley. Greinke allowed the first two Dodger batters to reach base.

In came Kenta Maeda, who had appeared out of the bullpen only four times during a season in which he made 25 starts.

The performance by Darvish provided more reason to believe the Dodgers might have the staying power, but his was not the only one. "In the box, (he) struggled a bit so far in the postseason, but put a good swing on that 3-1 fastball away".

The Houston Astros clinched their first trip to the American League Championship Series with a 5-4 victory against the Boston Red Sox in Game 4 of their AL Division Series on a rainy Monday afternoon at Fenway Park. He wasn't at his best, but he did give his team a chance to win.

"He was throwing a lot of strikes, so he was ahead in the count a lot, " Goldschmidt said about Darvish. Clayton Kershaw - who didn't even need to pitch in relief in this particular NLDS after his memorable turn previous year against the Nationals - can start the NLCS opener Saturday on seven days' rest, with Rich Hill, Darvish and Alex Wood all well-rested and ready to take their turn. Reigning AL Cy Young Award victor Rick Porcello is set to face Houston's Charlie Morton with the Astros up 2-1 in the series.