One team that Yu Darvish has been consistently dominant against has been the Hawks, and the trend continued at Sapporo Dome today. Helped along by his offense, the Fighters handed Softbank their 7th shutout loss of the year, winning 4-0.
From the start, Softbank couldn't do a thing against Darvish, who won his 15th game of the season. He went the distance, giving up five hits to go with three walks, striking out 14 in the process.
Hawks starter Hiroki Yamada made a valiant effort to keep pace, but was eventually scored upon in the 5th inning via a sacrifice fly off the bat of Sho Nakata. That would be the only run that Yamada would give up as the Hawks young lefty was lifted in favor of Yoshiaki Fujioka.
However, the bullpen couldn't stop the bleeding as Fujioka was touched up for two runs off the bat of Yoh to give the Fighters a 3-0 lead, which felt like 30-0 with the way Darvish was pitching. Yoh got another run across off Mu-young Kim, although he was aided by a leaky Hawks defense. Two errors in the inning were the microcosm of the day as the Hawks had nothing going their way today.
SoftBank will get back to work and try to extend their lead on the second-place Fighters again. It will be another prime pitching matchup as Toshiya Sugiuchi (6-3, 1.81) will take on Masaru Takeda (9-6, 1.30).