Cubs have a trio of starters – all of whom can be called an ace

Yu Darvish / Chicago Cubs (Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images)
Yu Darvish / Chicago Cubs (Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Cubs
Yu Darvish / Chicago Cubs (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images) /

Chicago Cubs are getting what they hoped for from Yu Darvish

Yu Darvish labored through his first start of the year, lasting just four innings and allowing three earned runs. But from there, the right-hander has dominated every five days, allowing just two earned runs over 20 innings of work.

On Thursday, things came to a head when he took a no-hitter against Milwaukee into the seventh, striking out a season-high 11. Perhaps the bigger item of note is the fact that Darvish is yet to walk more than two batters in a single start. Of course, that was a huge issue early in his Cubs career.

"“He had really good command of his offspeed stuff,” Ross said after Thursday’s start. “The breaking ball was working, the slider, the cutter in on those lefties was going in deep. He’d finish with some splitters or some fastballs late. Really kept them off-balance.”"

This year, Darvish is throwing the cutter more than ever before – nearly half the time. Meanwhile, he’s cut back on his four-seamer. Last year, opponents squared off on that pitch, so clearly Darvish is continuing to use his whole arsenal and adapting as he goes. That’s good news for the Cubs – and bad news for the rest of the league.