Cubs’ Yu Darvish brilliant in his second start, the bullpen not so much

(Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images)
(Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images) /

The Chicago Cubs’ Yu Darvish was superb in his second start of the season. The bullpen, on the other hand? Not so much the case.

The Chicago Cubs’ Yu Darvish was spot on in his second start of the season. Jason Kipnis hit his first home run of the season to secure a 6-3 final. The bullpen, though–and mainly Craig Kimbrel? Two long balls. I know that David Ross was going to ‘give him some room?’ But Kimbrel is pushing me where I’m not particularly eager to go.

Darvish, on the other hand, was as good as he was in the second half of the season. He mixed speeds, threw the curveball well, and threw in his cutter and returned to form from the second half. I know that he has ‘a dozen’ pitches in his arsenal. To be honest, he throws six–maybe seven–from his ‘ordnance.’

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Darvish struck out seven in six innings of work. He lowered his ERA from 6.75 to a 2.70–while allowing just two hits. And he lowered his WHIP from 1.50 to 0.90.

Now, on to the bullpen. Do you know what grinds my gears? Kimbrel. Listen to these stats. He allowed a slash line of .333/.636/1.333 with an OPS of 1.970. His sOPS+ was 437. And he’s struck out not one batter. Zero.

Of the five balls that were put in play? Every one of them eclipsed100 mph or more. Let’s just say he’s not a ‘high-leverage’ closer–at least not now–if ever. He had his due. He was a nine-year closer and a seven-time All-Star with the Braves, Padres and the Red Sox. It would better if he would have never come to Chicago. And that is the truth.

"“He’s still trying to find that breaking ball, it looks like a little bit,” Cubs manager David Ross said. “He’s still working through some stuff. He’s definitely not where he wants to be yet. But it was nice to give him a little bit of cushion there and have him work through some stuff.” h/t Jordan Bastain,"

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I don’t know if he will ever find that breaking ball he’s looking for. And his fastball topped out at 98–but they were returning faster than he brought it. I have to be honest if he doesn’t find what he’s looking for? He’s done with the Cubs.