In any given offseason over the last couple of years, you might find Clayton Kershaw and Yu Darvish playing catch at some field near Dallas. The two Texas residents may no longer be teammates with the Dodgers, but finding a throwing partner isn’t always easy.
But the 2021 season has a little bit of a different feel to it. Not only is Darvish no longer with the Dodgers, but now he’s with a division rival. Darvish was traded from the Cubs to the Padres this past offseason as part of their massive starting rotation rebuild.
This coming weekend, Darvish and Kershaw will face off for the first time as NL West opponents. The Dodgers will throw a combination of Walker Buehler, Kershaw, and Trevor Bauer in their first series against San Diego. For Darvish, he can’t wait to go up against his old throwing partner.
The 34-year-old RHP talked recently about the matchup with the Dodgers and getting to face Kershaw. Darvish joked that he has not heard from Clayton since he was traded to the Padres though, citing the fact that they are now division rivals as the reason. It also probably doesn’t help that Darvish is no longer a Texas resident thus no longer a big league neighbor.
Both guys have been very good early on in the season, save for Kershaw’s first start of the year. Darvish finished second in CyYoung voting in the 2020 season, and that success has carried over to San Diego. Through his first 2 starts of the year, he has tossed 17.2 innings and allowed 6 earned runs. The Dodgers southpaw has been lights out in his last 2 starts.
The Padres and Dodgers series should be fun to watch all season long. The 2 powerhouse NL West teams are favorites to win the NL pennant, and you can bet every game will matter.