As details continue to emerge about the Houston Astros' sign-stealing scheme, Chicago Cubs right-hander Yu Darvish is starting to question his uncharacteristically poor performance in the 2017 World Series.
Pitching for the Los Angeles Dodgers, Darvish struggled mightily over his two appearances, though he's now wondering if the Astros had a little help.
"That's what I want to know," Darvish said Friday, according to Jesse Rogers of ESPN.
"A couple of Astros players told me I was tipping pitches, but now it comes out they were stealing signs. Was I tipping, or were they stealing?"
Darvish started Game 3 and Game 7 of the 2017 Fall Classic, earning both losses. He allowed nine runs (eight earned) on nine hits and two walks while failing to record a strikeout in 3 1/3 innings (21.60 ERA).
Prior to that, he'd been a valuable addition to the Dodgers' rotation following a midseason trade with the Texas Rangers. In nine regular-season starts with the Dodgers, Darvish was 4-3 with a 3.44 ERA and 1.15 WHIP.
He went on to win the NLDS clincher against the Arizona Diamondbacks after allowing one run on two hits with seven strikeouts in five innings. Darvish followed that up with a key victory against the Cubs to give Los Angeles a three-game cushion in the NLCS. Again, he allowed only one run over 6 1/3 frames.
Darvish admitted that he didn't pitch well during the World Series and also lamented the many general difficulties currently facing pitchers.
"It's tough to pitch," Darvish said. "We're losing the strike zone. It's getting smaller. They want (us) to (pitch) quicker. And the hitters are stealing signs."
Still, Darvish is coming off a promising campaign with the Cubs in which he posted a 2.76 ERA and 0.81 WHIP in the season's second half. He's entering the third year of a six-year, $126-million contract he signed just after his World Series collapse.