Right-hander Yu Darvish said Saturday his first season with the San Diego Padres was one of missed opportunities.
After an outstanding first half of the season in which he made his second career Opening Day start and earned his fifth career All-Star selection in the majors, things went downhill.
A combination of injuries and poor performances left him wondering what could have been after the Padres were knocked out of playoff contention. The team had a 79-82 record heading into its regular-season finale on Sunday.
"I started off the season well but it ended in disappointment," Darvish said. "All I remember is the bad stuff."
The 35-year-old pitched for the Texas Rangers, Los Angeles Dodgers and the Chicago Cubs before moving to the Padres for his 10th season in the major leagues. He concluded his first campaign in San Diego with an 8-11 record and a 4.22 ERA in 30 starts.
The 2020 National League Cy Young Award runner-up went 7-3 with a 3.09 ERA in 18 starts in the first half of the 2021 season. He was unable to play in the All-Star Game as he was dealing with lingering back and hip tightness, and that is where his nightmare began.
After the break, he went 1-8 with a 6.16 ERA in 12 starts. He lost seven consecutive decisions.
Darvish hit the injured list twice this year. In July, he missed time due to left hip inflammation. In August, he was on the shelf for a couple of weeks with a lower back issue.
He had expressed a desire to pitch one last time after throwing four innings against the Dodgers on Sept. 28, but MRI scans revealed damage to the lip of one of his hip sockets that ruled him out.
His IL stints most likely played a role in his late struggles, but Darvish is optimistic his offseason recovery will set him up for a better 2022.
"It's not that bad, so moving forward I think it's going to be some rest, and after that, it will be building it up once again with some rehab," he said.
"This type of injury is common for a player my age. We'll see how it goes after rehab."
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