The Chicago Cubs Yu Darvish has a chance to win back his critics

(Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)
(Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images) /

The Chicago Cubs’ Yu Darvish continues to get better with each start. It’s time to feed off of the other starters success in a big game against the Cardinals.

For the Chicago CubsYu Darvish, the 2018 season plus the first three games this season were forgettable. I know many think he’s a waste of money. But the fact is, he’s a Cub, and he’s not going anywhere whether we like it or not. So wishing for his demise doesn’t make much sense as a Cubs’ fan. Darvish is coming off best start as a Cubs since a 5-2 victory over the Brewers in his second game in 2018.

For Darvish, it’s all about his command. While his last start was an inspiring one, his SO/W ratio still sits at 1.50, with his BB/9 at 6.9–by far the highest of his career. For the first time this season, he reached the 100 pitch mark (110) but was only able to go six innings. He allowed just one run on a home run and just two hits. If he can cut back on the number of walks, you’ll see pitch count decrease, and he’ll be deeper in the game.

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The Cubs starters have been going deeper in games as of late, and you can see how the bullpen has responded. There are still a few concerns but they’ve become minimal. And things go smoother when the pen isn’t responsible for half of a ballgame.

Oddly enough, this isn’t just his first start against the Cardinals as a Cub, but his first start ever in his career. While he’s technically been here for a year, Darvish is going to be thrown into the rivalry against the Cards with the Cubs just 1 1/2 games out of first.

A win could set the Cubs up for a sweep and the chance to snatch first-place in the Central, at least for a day. Add to that it’s the Sunday Night game on ESPN featuring a match-up of Jose Quintana and Adam Wainwright? Yes, please.

If you run across the numbers for Darvish, two things stand out this season from the rest of his career. His walk-rate, as we’ve discussed. And his HR/9, which is currently at 2.20–highest in his career. The rest of his numbers look similar to his career stats, with a few variables. But this combination is very, very bad for a pitcher. It goes without saying, at least one of these numbers needs to drop. One of our writers has even suggested a possible bullpen stint for Darvish to ‘fix’ his control.

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The start for the Chicago Cubs and Darvish this season didn’t go well. At this point, it’s trending up that both have recovered from the poor showings. Darvish will have his detractors, but a convincing victory over the Cardinals may be able to win a few of those critics over.