And Aviles still came away thinking Darvish could do what he almost did Tuesday night.
"He definitely has the stuff," the Indians infielder said, as Darvish's bid for a perfect game played out on the visiting clubhouse televisions at Rogers Centre. "There's no doubt he has the stuff."
Darvish, as it turned out, would come one out short of perfection on Tuesday against the Astros. But as Aviles and a few other Indians players watched, after their own 4-1 win over the Blue Jays, the thought that they couldn't escape was this year's Darvish could be better than last year's.
"He had to adjust to pitching here [in the major leagues]," Aviles said. "Maybe he's adjusting. He has all the stuff to be an ace.
"It was just a matter of it all coming together. Maybe it is."
Last August, when Aviles faced Darvish at Fenway Park, it still hadn't. Aviles had one of the 11 Red Sox hits off Darvish that night.
Tuesday, as Aviles and his new teammates watched, Darvish wasn't giving up any hits. Aviles was not surprised.