Chicago Cubs: Jason Heyward, Yu Darvish no longer a drag on payroll

(Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
(Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Cubs
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Chicago Cubs: Darvish is healthy and looking good

In the case of Darvish, it’s been a small sample due to his injury last season. And this year hasn’t always been great. But Darvish is starting to find his stride. A few times, we’ve mentioned that he looked like he was getting back what made him a $126 million pitcher. In his last few starts, he has shown that even more.

After a record 10 no-decisions, Darvish finally lost a game, He allowed five runs in the first three innings, losing a match-up with the Atlanta Braves and Dallas Kuechel, 5-3. He won his last game, a 5-2 win over the Cincinnati Reds in which he pitched as well as he has in Chicago. It also helped him earn his first win as a Cubs at Wrigley Field. Can you even imagine being a starter that has made all his starts, and you are 3-4 as you hit the end of July?

In his last two starts (I know, small sample) he’s gone six innings in each, allowing just four hits and no runs. He’s also walked only one and struck out 15 in the 12 innings pitched. And in his last start, Joe Maddon pulled him after just 83 pitches. So it wasn’t only the pitch count that got him. It was the strategy of the National League game. Walks were his enemy early. For June and July, he’s walked nine while striking out 53. For now, it’s looking like the Darvish they were hoping for. (Subscription required)