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Explaining Yu Darvish’s struggles on Monday against the Giants

Yu Darvish couldn’t keep the Padres in the game on Tuesday night and it started because he gave up five runs in the first inning. Let’s dive into why he struggled.

San Diego Padres v San Francisco Giants Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

The San Diego Padres entered Monday night’s game against the San Francisco Giants with a 9-18 record in the last 27 games. The day before, Blake Snell exited the game in the first inning with a groin injury, thus forcing manager Jayce Tingler to use six relievers in San Diego’s 8-0 loss.

The last thing the Padres could afford was to use their bullpen like that on back to back days. So, when Yu Darvish gave up five runs in the first inning, he had to take one for the team. Darvish ended up going four innings and allowed eight earned runs, which included surrendering four home runs (two in the first and two in the fourth).

Darvish has battled with some hip and back issues recently this season but that wasn’t the primary reason why he struggled on Monday night at Oracle Park. It was because he simply couldn’t hit his spots. I tweeted out all of the pitches he gave up a home run on and it’s pretty baffling how “off” he was.

The Padres offense looked lifeless again so it wouldn’t have been a guarantee that they would’ve won the game had Darvish commanded his pitchers better (and therefore garnered better results). However, it’s hard for any team to win a game—regardless of how talented the lineup is—if the starting pitcher gives up eight runs in four innings.

The problems aren’t just with Darvish. They keep compounding for the Friars. In the last four days, this has happened to the team:

  1. All-Star infielder Jake Cronenworth fractured his left ring finger
  2. The 2018 Cy Young version of Blake Snell hurt his groin
  3. San Diego got swept by the Dodgers, getting shutout on Friday and Sunday
  4. Yu Darvish gave up four home runs in four innings to a Giants lineup that didn’t have Buster Posey in it

Oh, and the Padres play winning teams the rest of the way.