Yu Darvish is looking to be the Cubs first Cy Young winner since 2016.
After dropping three-of-four to the lowly Pittsburgh Pirates, the Cubs desperately needed a win on Friday. They turned to their ace: right-hander Yu Darvish. To put it mildly, he didn’t disappoint. Chicago came away with a 10-0 win, reducing their magic number to win the division to just 1.
Darvish tossed seven scoreless frames, scattering just three hits, while striking out five and walking just one. On the year, he finishes with a 2.01 ERA, 0.96 WHIP and 11.01 strikeouts per nine and an MLB-best 3.0 WAR.
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Next up for Darvish? Likely taking the ball next Wednesday in the Cubs’ postseason opener. The team’s opponent is yet-to-be-determined, but after watching the Japanese hurler mow down opposing hitters all season, I can’t wait to see him get a Game 1 start.
We’re talking about a guy who got shellacked in the 2017 World Series as a member of the Dodgers. Of course, now we know about the Astros’ sign-stealing scandal and its potential implications on Darvish.
His confidence was shaken to its core and it took him some time to regain his footing. This guy is going to be on a mission to silence his critics once and for all come October.
The NL Cy Young race is going to come right down to the wire. Reds hurler Trevor Bauer is Darvish’s primary competition in my mind – and it’s not out of the question the two go head-to-head in the postseason.
Regardless of how it shakes out, Cubs fans have to have a completely new appreciation for what he’s added to the rotation. After missing most of his first year on the North Side with injury, he rounded into form down the stretch in 2019 – running off a remarkable second half. He picked up right where he left off this year, emerging as the co-ace of the staff alongside Kyle Hendricks.
Chicago needed a win Friday – and the offense and Darvish answered the call. As we start looking toward the postseason, let’s hope we keep getting more dominance from the Cubs hurler as the team eyes another World Series title.