Cubs News: Yu Darvish pitches seven innings in win vs. Royals
The Chicago Cubs’ Yu Darvish pitched seven strong innings in a 6-1 win over the Kansas City Royals. Jeremy Jeffress and Colin Rea closed out the win.
The Chicago Cubs got an effective seven innings from Yu Darvish, and Jeremy Jeffress and Colin Rea ended it pitching an inning apiece in a win versus the Kansas City Royals. Darvish threw 93 pitches, 58 for strikes. He was ineffective for the first part of the game, but then he settled in a groove.
The Cubs’ Darvish pitched seven innings on five hits, allowing one run. He struck out four and walked one. He’s thrown 34 and 36 sliders, respectively. This was a change when he through 19 cutters in his first start. He only through 10 in the last two games, and 40 curveballs (23 vs. PIT, 17 vs. KC). He’s obviously found the rhythm with his pitching. He lowered his ERA to 2.12 from 2.70.
Darvish is heating up
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Darvish is close to form from the last half of the season, and he needs to keep it up for about 10 starts. He pitched to a 2.76 ERA in the second half–compared to a 2.12 ERA this year. The key to Darvish’s progress will be the SO/W ratio. He had 118 strikeouts and seven walks, good for a 16.86 rate. He actually had a HIGHER BAbip (.264 to .274), but because of the low amount of walks, it didn’t affect him as much.
The starting pitching is the blueprint for success. Currently, they’re leading the league with a 1.95 ERA, plus a .172 batting average allowed. You know the last time the Cubs went seven innings in three straight games? Jason Hammel, Jon Lester and John Lackey did it against the Reds in 2016.
Yu wasn’t as sharp
Darvish wasn’t as sharp as his last outing. Try telling that to someone who gave up five hits in seven innings of work. But he gave most of the credit to the defense, specifically David Bote. After Nicky Lopez single, Bote charged the ball, stepped on second, and made an off-balance throw to get out Whit Merrifield.
"“That was the play of the day,” Darvish said. h/t Mark Gonzales, Chicago Tribune"
The Cubs have scored 26 runs in the seventh inning or later, with a slash line of .282/.378/.589 with an OPS of .966. They can’t sustain this (or can they?), but the seventh or later is where they ‘butter their bread’. I hope they can keep it up for 48 games–or more.