No, Yu Darvish did not get his first “win” at Wrigley Field, which is at this point as utterly bonkers as caring about the “pitcher win” stat in the first place. I swear, I do not care. But I would like to see it happen so we can just be done with it, and instead solely focus on the things he’s doing – like the way he dominated the Pirates yesterday.
It was his best start as a Chicago Cub.
Darvish dazzles to start the second half.
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) July 13, 2019
On the day, Darvish went 6.0 scoreless innings, allowing just 2 hits, 1 walk, and striking out 8. By game score (78), it was his best start with the Cubs. And it came after he specifically asked for the ball to open the second half of the season:
Darvish petitioned to start the 1st game of 2nd half. Why?
"Last year, I didn't do anything. I want to pitch a lot of games this year. I know the first game after the All-Star Break is tough for the pitcher and everybody, but I believe I can do it, so I told him I can pitch."
— Tony Andracki (@TonyAndracki23) July 12, 2019
The cojones, man. Then to step up with a nearly flawless performance? Whatever challenges Darvish has keeping his mental game aligned with his physical performance, I’d say that was a pretty darn good demonstration of effectiveness right there.
You can see just how excellent his execution was by watching a few pitches in the very first inning:
Yu Darvish, 95mph Fastball and 91mph hard Slider, Overlay. pic.twitter.com/vuFzCtYiZ2
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) July 12, 2019
What was most impressive about the outing is how much confidence Darvish clearly had in all of his pitches. It felt like his most diverse outing with the Cubs, and it probably was:
We have long awaited a start where Darvish could actually deploy his impressive array of pitches, but he has never really been able to command them all at the same time. Yesterday was a clinic – he even worked in three rarely-deployed nasty changeups for good measure. He just had the feel yesterday, and showed what it can look like when he actually has his full arsenal at the ready.
Keep it going, dude.