Yu Darvish showed off his array of pitches in a seven-inning gem Friday as the San Diego Padres overpowered the New York Mets 7-1 in the opening game of their National League Wild Card Series.
The 36-year-old right-hander received strong offensive support from a San Diego lineup that belted four home runs against Mets ace Max Scherzer (0-1) and chased him after just 4-2/3 innings at Citi Field.
Darvish (1-0) threw 72 of his 101 pitches for strikes, allowing six hits while fanning four, walking none and hitting one batsman. He gave up his only run on Eduardo Escobar's solo homer in the fifth.
"When I first woke up, I felt short of breath and thought maybe I was a little nervous," said Darvish. "But because we scored so many runs, I didn't overthink things and was able to throw the ball comfortably."
Josh Bell put the Padres on the board with a two-run homer in the first and Trent Grisham made it 3-0 with his solo blast in the second.
Jurickson Profar's three-run homer blew the game open at 6-0 in the fifth before Manny Machado's solo brought an end to Scherzer's night.
Darvish used a range of breaking balls, including sliders and curveballs, to curtail the normally potent Mets lineup in a statement performance.
He pitched out of a one-out jam in the first, stranding runners at first and third after striking out NL RBI leader Pete Alonso and getting Daniel Vogelbach to fly out.
The veteran hurler on Monday was named the NL Pitcher of the Month for September after going 5-1 with a 1.85 ERA and 44 strikeouts in 39 innings for the month.