After his best season with the Chicago Cubs, Yu Darvish has a chance to win his first Cy Young Award.
Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Yu Darvish is one of three candidates officially named a finalist for the NL Cy Young Award. Of course, this decision was a no-brainer to anyone who paid attention to baseball this past season.
The 2020 regular season was far from perfect for the Cubs, but if there’s one player I had to choose as their MVP, my vote goes to Darvish.
Since signing a hefty six-year/$126 million contract during the 2017 offseason, Darvish struggled to meet expectations during his first two years on the North Side. Whether it was pressure from the media, fans, and Darvish just wanting to prove to everyone he was worth the contract, he couldn’t put together consistent outings.
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To his credit, the big right-hander worked tirelessly and got back to his ways of dominance in 2020.
Yu Darvish 2020 Statistics: (12 starts) (8-3) 2.01 ERA 76 IP 59 H 14 BB 93 SO
Pitching the game after your team’s loss won’t show up on the stat sheets, but it’s something I believe is the most important attribute of them all for an ace in the big leagues, and no one was better than Darvish.
Five of Darvish’s eight wins came after a Cubs’ loss this season. Considering how bad the offense was, they needed all the help they could get and Darvish delivered.
The Habikino, Japan native, allowed one run or less in eight of his starts and allowed a season-high four earned runs just once in 2020. Even with his dominant outings, Darvish still has his work cut out for him thanks to great seasons from Trevor Bauer and reigning back-to-back NL Cy Young winner Jacob deGrom.
Trevor Bauer 2020 Statistics: (12 starts) (4-2) 2.38 ERA 68 IP 47 H 18 BB 108 SO
Jacob deGrom 2020 Statistics: (12 starts) (5-4) 1.73 ERA 73 IP 41 H 17 BB 100 SO
It’s amazing how close the three candidates are in terms of their individual pitching statistics. If the voters look into some deeper stats from this past season, the nod should go to Darvish.
You could make a case as to why all three candidates are deserving of the award. Considering how much WAR and FIP are valued in today’s MLB, Darvish (2.23 FIP, 3.00 WAR) has the upper hand in both categories. Could that be enough to make him the winner? Who knows, but it should definitely be considered.
Admittedly, I lost faith in Darvish during the last two seasons and deservedly ate crow for seeing his dominance this past year. Regardless of who wins the Cy Young, Darvish’s outings in 2020 will go down as some of the best in Cubs’ history. It’ll serve as a reminder to fans, as well as himself just how dominant he can be.
Still, being the competitor, he is you know he wants to win, and as a fan, I hope he does. Like many important things in the year 2020, the decision will be in the voters’ hands.