Chicago Cubs: Can Yu Darvish finally get over the hump at Wrigley Field?

(Photo by David Banks/Getty Images)
(Photo by David Banks/Getty Images) /

Ever since the Chicago Cubs signed Yu Darvish to a massive contract prior to the 2018 season, the right-hander has struggled mightily at Wrigley Field. For Darvish to turn the corner, he’s going to have to win at home.

It’s almost unfathomable that Yu Darvish has yet to record a win at Wrigley Field. Sure, he has struggled for most of his tenure with the Chicago Cubs, but one would think that he’d be able to win (at least) once by now.

Darvish has been pitching slightly better recently. He has gone at least six innings in six of his last seven outings. He was also able to cross off the mental hurdle of pitching well at Dodger Stadium in his first time back in Los Angeles since his disastrous start in Game 7 of the 2017 World Series. The next hurdle is for him to do it at Wrigley Field.

Home woes

The friendly confines have not been so friendly to Darvish. Since joining the Cubs, Darvish has started 10 games at Wrigley Field (two games last season before landing on the IL). In Darvish’s eight home starts in 2019, he is 0-2 with an unsettling 5.90 ERA.

In the same amount of starts on the road, he has been much better, going 2-1 with a 3.59 ERA. Darvish knows that for him to take the next step in his progression, he’s going to have to perform well at Wrigley Field.

"‘‘I don’t know why, but I know the numbers,’’ Darvish said. ‘‘[That’s why] two weeks ago I told you guys, ‘I really need a good outing [at] Wrigley.’ ’’ (Chicago Sun-Times)"

Record level mediocrity

Darvish currently is in a rather weird stretch, which has resulted in a club record 10 consecutive no-decisions. In those 10 starts, Darvish’s performance has fluctuated only slightly. He seemingly has turned a corner in terms of his command but has yet to put it all together for the Cubs.

When he’s on, Darvish has the best pure stuff in the Cubs rotation, and it’s not particularly close. He has the ability to add a swing-and-miss element to a Cubs pitching staff that largely uses a “pitch to contact” approach.

The most maddening aspect of Darvish’s lackluster Chicago Cubs career is that the talent and effort are all there. After Darvish’s last start, where he took yet another no-decision in a 5-4 loss to the Mets, Darvish shared some of his frustration for the way things have been going.

"“I need 10 consecutive wins,” Darvish said via 670 The Score. “I really want to compete. The no-decisions are weird. I am not winning or losing. It is just weird.”"

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While many fans are quick to deem Darvish a dud, but the reality is that there is still plenty of time left in Darvish’s six-year contract for him to be an effective contributor for the team’s success. Perhaps tonight will finally be the night where Darvish shines at Wrigley Field.