One of the things I particularly enjoy about the first postseason game of any series, and of the wild-card games, is the introductions of all the players from the competing teams. They line up on the baselines, give high fives or fist bumps to their coaches and teammates, and add a little pomp and circumstance to the event.
Generally, this is done in the following sequence: first, coaches and trainers; then, players not scheduled to start in the game, and lastly, the starting lineup.
The non-starters are announced in numerical order, and stand that way in line.
ESPN covered the Cubs’ starting lineup; here’s the video.
See anyone notable not there? Yu Darvish, had he been introduced, would have been between Ian Happ and Kyle Schwarber. But he’s not there.
Other Cubs pitchers on the 60-day DL — Brandon Morrow and Drew Smyly — were there and introduced, and Smyly did not throw one pitch for the big-league Cubs this year, though he made a couple of rehab starts before running out of time.
In fairness, it doesn’t look like another 60-day DL Cubs pitcher, Justin Hancock, was there either.
Even Tyler Chatwood was introduced; there were a smattering of boos for Chatwood but mostly just no reaction at all.
Part of the reason this is particularly intriguing is that it appears that Darvish was in the ballpark after all. This screenshot is from ESPN’s coverage at the end of the game, when they were taking shots of the Cubs dugout:
So, it appears Darvish was indeed at Wrigley Tuesday evening, but didn’t come out for the introductions. Would there have been a negative reaction, booing? That’d be more on Cubs fans than Darvish. I’m glad he was there to support his teammates.