Chicago Cubs: Yu Darvish has been through a lot in Chicago

Yu Darvish, Chicago Cubs(Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
Yu Darvish, Chicago Cubs(Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /
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The Cubs ace Yu Darvish has been through a lot so far in a short time in Chicago, from signing to struggling and back to where we all thought he could be.

The Chicago Cubs inked star right-hander Yu Darvish to a six-year $126 million on February 10th of 2018. The Cubs had lost Jake Arrieta and John Lackey from the previous season, so they needed starting pitching.

As fans, we all saw what Darvish could do to a potent lineup in the 2017 NLCS as he shut the team down. Darvish went 6+ innings, giving up one run and striking out seven in that game at Wrigley Field. Most Cubs fans were behind the deal and thought Darvish would be the Cubs ace for many years to come.

Then came his first season on the North Side of Chicago and Darvish struggled. In his debut on March 31st against the Miami Marlins, Darvish only lasted 4 1/3 innings and giving up five runs. Not the start to his career with the Cubs that anyone was looking for.

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It didn’t get much better in 2018 as Darvish only made seven more starts the rest of the year, and in those starts, Darvish did not have his best stuff as he posted a 4.95 ERA before being sidelined with an elbow injury. He tried to make a comeback later in the season and made a few starts in the minors before doctors told him his season was done.

Heading into the 2019 season, most people didn’t know what to expect out Darvish. He had stuff that he could be the ace of the rotation but didn’t always control it. The first half of 2019 was much like the seven starts of 2018, where Darvish was just super inconsistent. In the first half of 2019, Darvish posted a 5.01 ERA in 18 games with a 2-4 record. The most telling stat of the first half was his strikeout/ walk witch was 2.27. Darvish walked 49 batters and struck out 111.

Then came the second half of last season, where we saw the Darvish that we all thought he could be. Darvish was by far the Cub’s most reliable starter in the second half of the season. He posted a 2.76 ERA in 13 games in the second half. His strikeout/walk ratio was 16.86 and a complete turnaround from the first half. In the second half of the season, Darvish only walked seven batters compared to 49 in the first half.

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Darvish has been through a lot so far in his short time in Chicago and has handled it well. Hopefully, he can build off of that reliable second-half performance of last season, and continue to be the dominant pitcher we all know he can be whenever baseball returns.