Darvish addresses his pitch-tipping in ’17 Series

November 15th, 2019

-- who got knocked around twice by the Astros in the 2017 World Series and took the loss for the Dodgers in the deciding Game 7 -- weighed in on the Astros sign-stealing controversy in a video in Japanese posted to his YouTube channel Thursday night.

Darvish expressed mixed feelings about what happened against the Astros in the World Series, when he allowed four runs in 1 2/3 innings in Game 3 and five runs in 1 2/3 innings in Game 7. The Los Angeles Times' Dylan Hernandez translated Darvish's comments and spoke to Darvish on Friday.

"If you ask me if I got hit in Game 7 because they stole signs, I don’t think so," Darvish said, as translated by Hernandez. "The Astros have great players who don’t have to do that. So I think that whether or not they stole signs, the results wouldn’t have changed."

Earlier this week, The Athletic reported that the Astros stole signs during home games in 2017 using a camera set up in the outfield. The Astros and MLB have since opened an investigation.

When the 2017 World Series ended, reports came out that Darvish was tipping his pitches, but Darvish explained in his YouTube video how he studied the video afterwards and couldn't find the tells that the Astros allegedly used to their advantage. But the right-hander, now with the Cubs, also said he doesn't blame the Astros for his performance.

"I feel that if I absolve myself and say it was the Astros’ fault I was bad in Game 7, in the World Series, I can’t develop as a person," Darvish said. "In life, I think huge failures are extremely important. I’ve had a few up to this point. The World Series was one of them. I think it will remain a point of reference for me. I’ve already learned a lot from it. So regarding that, I can’t view myself charitably. I think I have to continue to accept the results."

Darvish said he wasn't sure how the different ballparks affected things. Only his first start of the World Series was at Minute Maid Park; Game 7 was at Dodger Stadium.

"What’s been reported up to this point is that they used cameras at their home field, so I don’t know if there was anything like that," Darvish said. "But what they were doing was so high-level that I can’t honestly say there’s no chance they were also doing it on the road."

Darvish’s Game 7 start was his last with the Dodgers before he signed a six-year, $126 million contract with the Cubs that offseason. Since reports of the Astros stealing signs emerged, Darvish has gotten apologies from Dodgers fans who blamed him for the loss, but he cited the criticism as inspiration in the video, saying, “I’m not looking for that. I don’t want them to change their minds.”