Yu Darvish will likely get booed when he makes his return to Los Angeles this weekend, but one ex-teammate does not think he deserves harsh treatment.
Dodgers lefty Clayton Kershaw spoke Friday on Darvish ahead of the Chicago Cubs righty’s first start at Dodger Stadium since giving up five runs in Game 7 of the 2017 World Series to sink the Dodgers’ championship hopes.
“People forget fast that we’re not in that position without him,” said Kershaw, per Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register. “Fans have the right to boo players who don’t perform, there’s no doubt about it. I just think when you’re in here in the clubhouse with the team and you know everything we go through on a day-in, day-out basis and you know Yu performed really well up to that point, pitched two really big games to get into the World Series – against the Diamondbacks and the Cubs.
“We wouldn’t even have been in that position without him,” Kershaw added. “People forget that fast and I understand that. But to us, to me – he was a big contributor to us being there in the first place. That’s kind of how I think about it.”
Darvish, who was acquired by the Dodgers at the 2017 trade deadline, was with them for just a few months before leaving to sign with the Cubs as a free agent. That Game 7 implosion proved to be Darvish’s final game as a Dodger.
Kershaw wasn’t exactly thrilled about Darvish joining an NL rival, but he does not seem to blame the Japanese star for the ghosts of the 2017 World Series.