When the Dodgers acquired Yu Darvish at the 2017 trade deadline, he was expected to be one of the final pieces to their championship puzzle.
After a solid nine-start regular season with Los Angeles, Darvish was stellar early in the postseason. In two starts (one in the NLDS, one in the NLCS), he allowed two runs across 11.1 innings, racking up 14 strikeouts compared to a single walk.
Things went downhill for Darvish in the World Series, where he surrendered nine runs in 3.1 innings across two starts. This includes Game 7, when he threw 47 pitches in 1.2 innings, allowing five runs in a 5-1 series-clinching win for the Astros.
Darvish became a scapegoat for the Dodgers' World Series loss and faced heavy backlash from fans. Consequentially, he had concerns about re-signing with the Dodgers when he became a free agent that offseason, according to Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times, due to fears of how the city's anger towards him would affect his family.
Two years later, fans are now apologizing for directing their anger at Darvish for his World Series performance. Why?
Tuesday, The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal and Evan Drellich reported the Astros stole opposing teams' signs electronically during the 2017 season. This conflicts with the notion of Darvish tipping his pitches in the World Series, which an anonymous Astros player told Sports Illustrated's Tom Verducci was the case.
I would like to issue an apology to Yu Darvish for the mean things I said about him during the 2017 World Series https://t.co/jQtROF3dMv— Austin Hurst (@ahurst07) November 12, 2019
@faridyu Brother, what happened to you in the 2017 World Series is wrong. A lot of us unfairly blamed you, and for that I apologize. Stay strong and keep your head up. Peace. #Dodgers #AstrosCheat #AstrosCheated #WorldSeries #WorldSeries2017— Frost-Barnes (@FrostBarnes) November 14, 2019
Everyone owes Yu Darvish an apology— Randi ☃️ (@dodgers_randi) November 13, 2019
i will go to war for yu darvish. he deserves justice.— peyton ✌︎ (@peytonboston) November 12, 2019
The notion of Darvish tipping his pitches is now in question altogether:
Andrew Friedman today, regarding allegations the Astros used a sign-stealing system in 2017.— Jeff Fletcher (@JeffFletcherOCR) November 12, 2019
"We had a player who was really good at picking up pitch-tipping type things and watched the (Yu) Darvish outings and said you couldn’t sell out on something that Darvish was doing."
Make of this what you will: Chase Utley studied Yu Darvish's starts in the World Series, and reported back to Andrew Friedman that Darvish was not giving off pitch-tipping cues. https://t.co/I2B1U6YWXj— Andy McCullough (@ByMcCullough) November 13, 2019
As has often been the case this offseason, Darvish had a brilliant reaction to the whole situation on Twitter:
Why am I tranding?— ダルビッシュ有(Yu Darvish) (@faridyu) November 12, 2019
Do people finally realize I'm cool? pic.twitter.com/ji73rT9ram
Is there anything better than Yu Darvish’s twitter feed pic.twitter.com/ZRTY9KoQ39— Molly Knight (@molly_knight) November 12, 2019
Darvish joined the Cubs in 2018 on a six-year deal. After an injury-riddled debut season with the Cubs, he took off post-All-Star break in 2019 and is expected to be the team's Opening Day starter in 2020. Although what happened in 2017 can't be changed, it's nice to see he's moved forward.