Darvish Has 10 Different Pitches Now, Learning from Kimbrel, Rizzo Back Issues, and Other Bullets

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Darvish Has 10 Different Pitches Now, Learning from Kimbrel, Rizzo Back Issues, and Other Bullets

Chicago Cubs

One of our cats has developed a very specific affection for walking up my legs when they are up and extended from a chair to an ottoman. It’s fine, except she’s a very chonky cat, and doesn’t have great balance. So when she missteps slightly, she extends her claws instinctively to regain purchase, and they tend to jab right into my leg. I should have stopped it sooner, because I knew it was going to happen: last night when she did it, she fell all the way down, with a claw in my leg, ripping down like a pirate who stuck a knife in a sail and slid down.

So I’ve got a healthy slash on my right leg, which will leave a scar. How do I know? Because about seven years ago she did the same thing to my left leg. Now they match.

  • We’ll have more on Yu Darvish’s fantastic outing soon, but I wanted to share some of the awesome visuals and comment on a couple new pitches:



  • Knuckle curve, you say (Yu say)? I didn’t know that Darvish THREW a knuckle curve. In fact, the guy I most associate with the knuckle curve on the Cubs, outside of Rowan Wick, is of course Craig Kimbrel. Who has long had one of the best knuckle curves in the game … wait a minute … you don’t think:

  • Dude. I guess signing Craig Kimbrel was worth it. And it’s really good as a spike pitch:


  • We also learned more about Darvish’s hard cutter last night (it’s what it sounds like – a 92 mph cut-fastball, thrown much harder than his typical cutter):

  • … so how many dang pitches does this guy have at this point? Well:

  • LOL. Remember when all we heard about was Darvish’s insanely diverse pitch arsenal, but then he narrowed it up so much in his first few starts with the Cubs that he looked like a two-pitch guy (four-seam/slider)? Well, I’d say he’s feeling very healthy and very comfortable right now. Good luck charting his outings, Statcast and Brooks, because these are all distinct pitches that do different things, but the differences can be so subtle that even a guy like the Pitching Ninja makes mistakes (and gets corrected by Darvish, himself, on Twitter).
  • Cast iron cookware is among the Deals of the Day at Amazon today.
  • The ongoing circulation of players at second base is probably going to continue after Ben Zobrist and Daniel Descalso return, but Addison Russell is quietly having his best offensive year since 2016, hitting .250/.328/.427 (93 wRC), and rating well defensively. I have long suspected the Cubs would *prefer* he establish himself as the guy there, but it didn’t happen in time to ward off Zobrist if he’s good to go regularly when he returns. So, then, I’m not quite sure how it’s going to shake out. Cubs may not yet know either.
  • Nice read on the Cubs’ big four prospects:

  • Terrible and tragic news in the baseball world, almost too difficult to even comprehend:

  • May Bivens get whatever support he needs.
  • An ESPN article giving heavy praise to the Cardinals for taking control of the NL Central.
  • Anthony Rizzo’s back issue is not the same one he’s been dealing with and managing for years, per Theo Epstein (Cubs.com): “I know he’s really frustrated by it. It’s not in the usual spot – it’s a little bit different. But I think it’s a situation where we have to be smart for a couple days to avoid a more serious injury that’ll have him out for a longer period of time. He’s coming in early, getting treatment.” Rizzo has not played since the 24th, so if the Cubs want the maximum backdating allowed for an IL stint, it needs to happen today. And if he’s definitely out today and is only a maybe for tomorrow, then you’re already halfway through an IL stint.
  • Seen at Wrigley Field:

  • In the Bears world, it’s very nice to be good AND to have lots of flexibility:

Author: Brett Taylor

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