Chicago Cubs: Yu Darvish unravels again as Colorado Rockies even series

(Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
(Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images) /

Despite jumping out to an early lead, another subpar start from Yu Darvish cost the Chicago Cubs Saturday’s showdown with the Colorado Rockies.

For the first four innings, Yu Darvish and the Chicago Cubs appeared to be on cruise control. Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. After rolling through the early innings, the right-hander fell to pieces in the fifth, allowing the Colorado Rockies to hang a five-spot on the board – taking a lead they never relinquished.

Darvish took the mound for the Cubs opposite lefty Tyler Anderson. On paper, this was a game in which the Cubs had a major advantage. It looked that way in the first inning, too. Albert Almora and Javier Baez picked up right where they left off Friday with a pair of singles.

Kris Bryant flew out to center and, two batters later, Willson Contreras laced one into the gap. The ball looked to be a home run, but was just short, ricocheting back off the top of the padded wall. But the two-run double made it 2-0 Cubs after one inning.

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The game stayed this way until the fifth. After Darvish got a flyout to lead off the inning, Mike Tauchman walked. Tony Wolters flew out for the second out of the inning.

With Anderson (the opposing pitcher) due up next, the inning seemed under control. But he drew a two-out walk, putting runners at first and second with two away.

DJ LeMahieu, Gerardo Parra, Nolan Arenado and Trevor Story followed with run-scoring knocks, putting Colorado on top. The Cubs’ bats were largely silent in the late innings, as the last 14 men were set down.

This is the third time in four starts where things have fallen apart in the fifth inning for Darvish. Against the Marlins, he gave up three runs and couldn’t finish the inning. Against the Braves, he gave up four runs – all with two outs – and couldn’t finish the frame. And, now, against the Rockies, all five runs came with two outs, and he again failed to finish the fifth. The short starts are not quite to a panic level yet, but this cannot continue.

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The series wraps up tomorrow at 2:00 p.m. CT. Jose Quintana takes the hill for the Cubs, opposed by German Marquez. The forecast will be in the upper 60s and sunny, which might be the best weather either team has had to play in all season.