Yu Darvish

Red Sox checked in on Dodgers Game 7 starter Darvish at deadline

dodgers_yu_darvish_101717.jpg

Red Sox checked in on Dodgers Game 7 starter Darvish at deadline

BOSTON — Dodgers' World Series Game 7 starter Yu Darvish was one of the pitchers the Red Sox asked about at the trade deadline as they tried to improve for the stretch run. 

The offense was the clearest area of need for the Sox by midseason. But, adding Darvish to improve a strength — and serve as insurance for David Price, who was injured as the deadline arrived — was another route they could have taken.

Sources said the Red Sox-Rangers discussion was not particularly in depth because of the Rangers’ price, and ultimately, because of what the Sox could even offer. The Sox didn’t want to move anyone off their major league team, and the Rangers weren’t enamored with the Sox’ prospects offerings.

Darvish, a free agent this winter, was sent from the Rangers to the Dodgers for three prospects: infielder Willie Calhoun, pitcher A.J. Alexy and infielder Brendon Davis. Boston acquired infielder Eduardo Nunez and reliever Addison Reed before August arrived instead.

Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski said three days before the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline that he was “not going to go out and make a big trade for a starting pitcher." He noted Doug Fister's arrival as well as the expectation that Price would return.

After the deadline passed, Dombrowski said: “You dip your toes in everything. But we never got close or had any serious conversations about starting pitching.”
 

Astros' Gurriel suspended 5 games in 2018 for gesture, slur at Darvish

houston-astros-yuli-gurriel-102817.jpg

Astros' Gurriel suspended 5 games in 2018 for gesture, slur at Darvish

HOUSTON — Yuli Gurriel of the Houston Astros has been suspended for five games next season for making a racist gesture at Dodgers pitcher Yu Darvish during the World Series.

Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred announced the penalty Saturday, a day after Gurriel’s actions during Game 3.

Manfred said he didn’t think it would be fair to penalize the rest of the Astros by suspending Gurriel during the World Series. Manfred said he understood other people might take a different view.

Gurriel will miss the first five games of the 2018 season and will not be paid during his suspension.

Gurriel said he didn't intend to offend Dodgers pitcher Yu Darvish when he pulled on the corners of his eyes after homering against him Friday night.

"I didn't try to offend nobody," Gurriel said in Spanish through a translator. 

"I was commenting to my family that I didn't have any luck against Japanese pitchers here in the United States."

Gurriel, a 33-year-old from Cuba, made the gesture shortly after homering to start Houston's four-run second inning. While sitting in the dugout, Gurriel put his fingers to the side of his eyes and said "chinito" - a derogatory Spanish term that translates literally to "little Chinese."

Darvish was born in Japan to a Japanese mother and Iranian father.

The league has recently suspended other players caught using slurs. Toronto's Kevin Pillar and Oakland's Matt Joyce were each banned for two games this season after making anti-gay comments.

Gurriel said the derogatory term is used commonly in Cuba to refer to Asian people. He said he knows the Japanese are offended by it because he played in Japan in 2014.

"In the moment, I didn't want to offend him or nobody in Japan because I have a lot of respect for them and I played in Japan," he said, adding that, "I didn't mean to do it."

Darvish played professionally in Japan from 2005-11 before joining the Texas Rangers in 2012. He was traded to the Dodgers at this year's July 31 trade deadline. He was angry about what happened.

"Acting like that, you just disrespect all the people around the world," he said in Japanese through a translator.

Gurriel hopes to speak with Darvish about what happened.

"Yes, of course. I want to talk to him because I have nothing against him," he said. "I think he's one of the best pitchers in Japan, and I never had success against him. ... If he felt offended, I want to apologize to him."

Gurriel spent 15 years in the Cuban professional league and played in Japan for a year before signing with the Astros last season. 
Gurriel homered and doubled in Game 3 and is batting .346 in the postseason.

"I know he's remorseful," Houston manager A.J. Hinch said.


Some of Darvish's former teammates with the Rangers called out Gurriel for his actions on Twitter. Pitcher Jake Diekman used an emoji to call the gesture trash, and outfielder Ryan Rua tweeted: "really hope that gesture from Gurriel wasnt directed towards Yu...no place for that."

Darvish hopes the incident can be a learning experience.

"Nobody's perfect and everybody is different and then ... we just ... have to learn from it," he said. "And then he made a mistake and then we're just going to learn from it. We are all human beings. That's what I'm saying, so just learn from it and we've got to go forward, move forward."


AP Baseball Writer Ronald Blum contributed to this report.

© 2017 by The Associated Press


 

NLCS: Dodgers close in on World Series with 6-1 win over Cubs

dodgers_yu_darvish_101717.jpg

NLCS: Dodgers close in on World Series with 6-1 win over Cubs

CHICAGO -- The Los Angeles Dodgers have a tough lineup, a talented pitching staff and a manager making all the right moves.

Yup, it's beginning to look a lot like 1988.

Yu Darvish pitched sparkling ball into the seventh inning, Chris Taylor homered again and the Dodgers beat the Chicago Cubs 6-1 on Tuesday night to open a 3-0 lead in the NL Championship Series.

Andre Ethier also went deep and Taylor added an RBI triple in the fifth as Los Angeles improved to 6-0 in this postseason, setting a franchise record for consecutive playoff wins. Yasiel Puig had two more hits in another entertaining performance that included an impressive bat flip - on a long foul ball in the first inning.

"The focus has certainly been heightened in the postseason," manager Dave Roberts said.

Looking for a four-game sweep and their 22nd pennant, the Dodgers will send Alex Wood to the mound Wednesday night at Wrigley Field with a chance to reach the World Series for the first time since Hall of Famer Tommy Lasorda managed Kirk Gibson, Orel Hershiser and Co. to the club's last championship 29 years ago.

Jake Arrieta, eligible for free agency after the season, pitches for the Cubs in what could be his final start with the team.

"I think we've won four games in a row before," Chicago slugger Kris Bryant said. "Obviously, it's going to be a tougher road. But it'll make the story that much better. Can you imagine that?"

Los Angeles was eliminated by Chicago in the NLCS last year, but this is a different group of Dodgers. Their patient lineup is coming up big in key spots and the pitching staff is much deeper, especially since Darvish was acquired in a trade with Texas in the final minutes before the July 31 deadline.

Not even a return to Wrigley could get the Cubs back on track after a rough stay in Los Angeles. Chicago manager Joe Maddon juggled his lineup, inserting Kyle Schwarber into the No. 2 slot and benching slumping second baseman Javier Baez, but the defending World Series champions were shut down by another Dodgers starter and more stellar relief from the NL West champions.

"I really didn't change much approach-wise from first inning until the end of the game," Darvish said through a translator. "I just kept pitching the same way."

Making their third straight appearance in the NLCS, the weary Cubs also hurt themselves with a couple of big mistakes. Carl Edwards Jr. walked Darvish on four pitches with the bases loaded and two outs in the sixth, continuing a rocky postseason for the reliever and leading to a round of boos from a frustrated crowd of 41,871.

A passed ball brought home another run in the eighth, and pinch hitter Kyle Farmer hit a sacrifice fly to make it 6-1.

Darvish departed after striking out Addison Russell in the seventh, pausing for congratulations from his whole infield before heading to the dugout. The Japanese right-hander allowed six hits, including Schwarber's first-inning homer, in his second career playoff win - both this year. He struck out seven and walked one.

Tony Watson got two outs, Brandon Morrow worked the eighth and Kenley Jansen closed it out after Ross Stripling gave up two hits in the ninth. With Roberts pushing the right buttons, Los Angeles' bullpen has yet to allow a run in the series.

"I think everybody's just been attacking," Morrow said. "That's the No. 1 thing."

The only four-game postseason sweep for the Dodgers came in the 1963 World Series against the New York Yankees. If Los Angeles can finish off Chicago on Wednesday, the Dodgers would have five days off before hosting the Yankees or Houston Astros in the World Series opener.

"We knew today was the most important game, and now tomorrow's the most important game," Ethier said. "We're going to come out and figure out how to get the job done again."

Schwarber's sixth career postseason homer got Chicago off to a fast start, but Jon Jay struck out with two on to end the inning. The Dodgers responded with Ethier's leadoff drive in the second and Taylor's second homer of the series in the third, a mammoth shot to center off losing pitcher Kyle Hendricks.

"We had a chance obviously, early," Maddon said. "We hit some balls well early in the game, and then he settled in."

Ethier had two hits in his first start of this year's playoffs after he missed most of the season with a herniated lumbar disk. Taylor also had two hits and is 4 for 14 for the series, helping make up for the loss of All-Star shortstop Corey Seager to a back injury.

ON THIS DAY

Tuesday was the 13th anniversary of Roberts' memorable stolen base for Boston in Game 4 of the 2004 ALCS against the New York Yankees. The Red Sox were three outs from elimination when Roberts ran for Kevin Millar, swiped second and scored on Bill Mueller's single.

Boston went on to rally past New York and sweep St. Louis for its first World Series championship since 1918. Roberts said he never mentions the steal to his players, but it comes up occasionally.

"Yu Darvish about two weeks ago I guess was surfing the internet, and there was an `aha' moment," Roberts said. "He ran across the stolen base and kind of put two and two together and didn't realize that was his manager. So he proceeded to kind of awkwardly approach me about it and talked about my goatee and how I could steal a base."

UP NEXT

Dodgers: Wood, who had a career-high 16 wins this season, will make his first appearance since Sept. 26. He was lined up for Game 4 of the NLDS, but the Dodgers swept the Diamondbacks in three games.

Cubs: Arrieta has pitched just 14 1/3 innings since Aug. 30, including four innings of two-hit ball against Washington in Game 4 of the NLDS. The 2015 NL Cy Young Award winner was hampered by a right hamstring injury at the end of the season.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE