The game may be simulated, but the pain you feel from a foul ball is still quite real.
Here’s the thing about pitching in a simulated game to real batters: it requires real batters. And the ones you have in-house happen to be Chicago Cubs players. Now, it’s not any different than taking at bats in a real game – there is some risk – but you still don’t really expect to see this:
La Stella just fouled one off his foot or somewhere in his lower half and he's in a lot of pain. Down on the ground and the trainer is checking him out. Was helped out of box by Schwarber and now having right foot/ankle looked at. pic.twitter.com/L3PRwopaqR
— Sahadev Sharma (@sahadevsharma) August 8, 2018
Tommy La Stella ultimately walked off the field under his own power, and the reports that came from the clubhouse thereafter is that he’s still expected to be able to play tonight (he’s slated to start).
As for Darvish – oh yeah, that part – he threw 30ish pitches over two innings, and walked off the field to fist bumps. Hopefully that means he felt just fine, and 30 pitches to live batters sounds about right after a 50ish pitch bullpen session last time out. It’s entirely possible he also threw some pitches before and/or after in the bullpen.
As Jim Hickey said earlier, Darvish may very well require another simulated game before he heads out on a rehab start, so I expect we’ll hear about the plan as soon as tomorrow.
UPDATE: The outing did indeed go well for Darvish:
According to Joe Maddon, all went well with Yu Darvish (elbow) in his simulated game on Wednesday. He threw approximately 33 pitches facing Cubs hitters. If all checks out, Maddon figures he'll do it again in a few days with a more extended pitch count. https://t.co/45ZTK5EJLN
— Jesse Rogers (@ESPNChiCubs) August 8, 2018