Yu darvishThe name was announced at Petco Park in San Diego to begin the third inning on Wednesday afternoon, and “Intoxicated,” a popular house song by Martin Solveig and GTA, rang through the speakers.
Chicago Cubs first baseman Antoine Rizzo, who uses this song as stage music, threw her arms up in mock disgust. Darvish, the former Cubs starter in his first season with the San Diego Padres, smirked as he approached the batter’s box.
Darvish, who was making his first start against the Cubs since an offseason trade, was not trolling Rizzo.
He was paying homage.
“I used this song because it was Rizzo taking care of me when things didn’t really work out my way in Chicago,” Darvish said through his performer after the Padres. 3-1 loss. “It was sort of to say ‘thank you’ to him. And obviously I have a good relationship with him.”
Darvish continued his remarkable season in the rematch against his former team, allowing just two runs in seven innings to take his ERA to 2.28 in his first 13 starts with his new team. But the Padres, collectively struggling offensively in recent weeks, have lost for the 10th time in their last 17 games.
Darvish, 34, finished second in the vote for the National League’s Cy Young Award last year and has been among the game’s top pitchers since the start of the 2020 season, going 14-5 with an ERA of 2.15, 185 strikeouts and only 33 walks in 155 innings.
Darvish’s time with the Cubs started off badly. He joined them on a six-year, $ 126 million contract in February 2018 and was limited to just eight starts that season. But he turned the tide in 2019, posting a 3.98 ERA in 178 innings, then hit another level in the pandemic shortened season.
“Looking back, I’ve had some ups and downs in Chicago,” Darvish said. “The good times and the bad, looking back. But what I find is that the fans, the organization and even the members of the media there – I had tremendous support to get through my years there. So there’s a feeling of, I guess, gratitude there. “