In year 2 with the Padres, one thing remains consistent for Yu Darvish. He struggles on the road. Last season he was 2-7 with a 5.54 ERA in 13 starts, and this season he is 1-1 with a 7.91 ERA. This afternoon, he faces a dangerous Phillies offense on a beautiful day at Citizens Bank Park.
As for his strikeouts, they are noticeably down this season. He is averaging .82 K per inning in 39 innings so far this year, and .74 K per inning on the road. He is in the 34th percentile in K%, 45th percentile in whiff%, and 19th percentile in chase rate. He just has not been missing bats like we are accustomed to seeing from the 35 year old. Over the last 2 seasons, Yu has only recorded 7 or more K on the road in 3 of 17 starts, and 0/4 this season.
The Phillies are 7th in the league in runs per game, 6th in home runs per game, 11th in on base %, and 3rd in slugging %. They have a strong lineup, and there is a shot the MVP, Bryce Harper, returns to that lineup today. They only have a K% of 23.2% vs right handed pitching for the year which has dropped to 22.5% over the last 30 days. I think they will make it tough on Yu to rack up strikeouts, and they have the potent offense to knock him out of the game early.