Justin Verlander was dealing on Wednesday night. He tossed 4 2/3 hitless innings against the Dodgers in Game 2 of the World Series, the only blemish on his pitching line an eight-pitch walk to Chris Taylor in the fourth. The rest of the Dodgers’ lineup was denied a chance to get on base, let alone get on the board, while the Astros took a 1-0 lead in the third on Alex Bregman‘s RBI single.
With two outs and a 2-1 count in the fifth, Joc Pederson finally found a pitch to his liking. He roped Verlander’s hanging slider out to center field, curving it just over the wall for a solo home run: his first of the postseason.
The 370-foot blast effectively ended Verlander’s bid for a no-hitter; had he persevered through the remaining 4 1/3 innings, he would’ve been the first pitcher to no-hit a World Series opponent since Don Larsen’s Game 5 perfecto against the 1956 Brooklyn Dodgers.
The Dodgers are currently tied 1-1 with the Astros in the bottom of the sixth.
Bad news for the Cubs’ Yu Darvish: The right-hander is headed back to the disabled list with right triceps tendinitis, the team announced Saturday. It’s the second such assignment for Darvish this season, but the first time he’s been sidelined with arm issues. Neither the severity of his injury nor a concrete timeframe for his recovery has been revealed yet, but the move is retroactive to May 23 and will allow him to come off the DL by June 2, assuming all goes well.
Prior to the injury, Darvish went 1-3 in eight starts with a 4.95 ERA, 4.7 BB/9 and 11.0 SO/9 through 40 innings. Needless to say, these aren’t the kind of results the Cubs were hoping to see after inking the righty to a six-year, $126 million contract back in February, though the circumstances affecting his performances appear to have largely been out of his control. He missed a start in early May after coming down with the flu and has struggled to pitch beyond the fifth inning in five of his eight starts to date.
The Cubs recalled left-hander Randy Rosario from Triple-A Iowa in a corresponding move. Rosario has yet to amass more than five career innings in the majors, but has impressed at Triple-A so far this year: he maintained an 0.97 ERA, 2.8 BB/9 and 6.1 SO/9 through 19 1/3 innings in 2018. As for Darvish’s next scheduled turn in the rotation, Tyler Chatwood is lined up to take the mound when the Cubs face off against the Giants in the series finale on Sunday. A starter for Monday night’s game has yet to be determined.