Yu Darvish's "Gutsy" Outing Was Also Just Good, Chatwood's Save, and Other Bullets

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Yu Darvish’s “Gutsy” Outing Was Also Just Good, Chatwood’s Save, and Other Bullets

Analysis and Commentary, Chicago Cubs News

[Sorry, I had these Bullets done two hours ago, and just as I was going to publish, another puke-fest broke out in the house. So I’ve been … occupied being a father and husband. OK. Bullets!]

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  • Given the conditions yesterday (wind howling out), the lineup he was facing (lots of pop), and the status of the bullpen (wrecked), I thought Yu Darvish’s performance yesterday – the first time he’s ever gone through 7 innings as a Cub – was very good. Note, this is not me saying the thing I’m sick of saying (“his results were bad, but this thing and this thing are encouraging or are an excuse”). This is me saying, given the nature of the game, those *were* good results.
  • Also, turns out the explicit game plan was for Darvish to go as deep as possible, which necessarily meant pounding the zone and letting the Reds hit it (not a bad approach anyway for a guy like Darvish on a windy day – the last thing you want is him messing around, walking everyone, and giving up lots of multi-run dongs). As Sahadev Sharma explained:

When Maddon spoke to reporters during his pregame media session, he admitted that he may have to “ride” Darvish deeper than normal because of how short the bullpen was. He clearly wasn’t exaggerating. After the game he said that Darvish was aware of that plan thanks to pitching coach Tommy Hottovy.

“Yeah, I knew it,” Darvish said. “The bullpen was a little bit of a struggle and didn’t have much rest. My main goal was to go more than seven innings today.”

  • Darvish’s outing would have looked even better if he hadn’t been sent out for the 8th inning after emptying the tank near 100 pitches in the 7th. Just sayin’. Oh, and the Tucker Barnhart two-run homer was a pop up that is caught 74% of the time and just fell into the Wrigley basket. OK, I guess that one falls into the “excuse” category. You gotta allow me one!
(Photo by David Banks/Getty Images)
  • The unnerving, but excellent conclusion of the 9th inning yesterday:

  • Chatwood was available in that moment, so I was fine with him getting the 9th. Would I want him to be the closer right now? Probably not, given that he’s not really a swing-and-miss guy, walks a ton of batters, and does have some numbers that suggest regression looms. Generally speaking, I’d rather see him stick in that long relief role. I think he really serves an excellent purpose there (ditto Mike Montgomery).
  • Speaking of the bullpen, with two fresh arms having come up yesterday (Dillon Maples and Tim Collins), and the Cubs now operating with a three-man bench, I wonder when we’ll see them swap back out a reliever for a position player. Another day or two? It would certainly help if Jose Quintana could go 6+ today.
  • Pedro Strop will have another mound session at some point this week, and then either a rehab stint or a return to the big league Cubs around the end of the week (Cubs.com).
  • A loaded set of Deals of the Day today at Amazon – speakers and books and beds and furniture and generators.
  • The weather is turning, and so are the crowds:

  • A very happy birthday to Ben Zobrist, to whom we send out positive vibes:

  • Gotta love seeing young outfield prospect Brennen Davis getting the call to full-season ball, joining fellow 2018 high school draftee Cole Roederer at South Bend:


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Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.