Yu Darvish

World Series Game 3 live: Dodgers are down to their final three outs, trail 5-3
Yu Darvish (Associated Press)
Yu Darvish (Associated Press)

There is a hearse parked in front of a building a few blocks from Minute Maid Park. A nearby banner read, “Reserved for,” with a Dodgers logo below.

So, yeah, the city of Houston is into this World Series.

The retractable roof at the so-called Juice Box will be closed Friday for Game 3 of the World Series, ensuring an extra-loud environment.

Yu Darvish doesn’t mind. In fact, before the start of the World Series, Darvish specifically asked manager Dave Roberts if he could pitch in Game 3 instead of Game 2.

A division rival of the Astros in his 5 1/2 seasons with the Texas Rangers, Darvish is 4-1 with a 2.16 earned-run average in six career starts at Minute Maid Park. He also likes how the designated-hitter rule will be in effect in the American League stadium, as he is more than willing to face an extra hitter in exchange for not having to step into the batter’s box himself.

“I think it’s really big that I don’t have to go into the batter’s box and swing and run,” he said in Japanese.

Darvish has offered only complimentary words about the Astros and their fans. In the wake of Hurricane Harvey, he wore “Houston Strong” shirts and made donations to relief efforts.

“They’re from the same state of the Texas, so I have feelings about wanting to see them doing well again as soon as possible,” Darvish said.

He joked, “Because I made a donation, I’m wondering if maybe they can use baseballs that don’t fly when I’m pitching.”

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