Cubs keep faith in Yu Darvish after a disappointing debut

MIAMI — Unfair as it’s to query a tumbler after just one get started, critics of Chicago Cubs righty Yu Darvish will level to his International Collection efficiency — mixed along with his season debut for his new staff on Saturday — and claim he wasn’t definitely worth the $126 million the staff pays him over the following six years.

Darvish wasn’t in a position to finish 5 innings in opposition to the lowly Miami Marlins on an evening when the Cubs desperately wanted innings out of him after dropping a 17-inning affair the night time prior to. As an alternative, consistent with ESPN Stats & Data, Darvish threw no less than 100 pitches with out completing 5 innings for most effective the second one time in his profession.

“A large number of pitches for four.1 innings,” supervisor Joe Maddon mentioned after the Cubs’ 10-6 win in 10 innings. “Total, he simply did not have his best possible stuff this night.”

Darvish gave up 5 runs and 5 hits, two walks and two hit batters. The most productive strikeout pitcher in line with 9 innings in baseball historical past did not whiff a Marlin till the pitcher got here to bat within the 3rd inning. The issue used to be easy: He had no command of his fastball.

“It kind of feels like each and every time I pitched the primary sport in Japan issues went now not so neatly,” Darvish mentioned thru his interpreter. “I do not know why that came about. … It will had been a location downside with my pitches. I don’t believe I used to be in a position to command no matter I sought after to, in the case of fastball.”

Darvish indicated it used to be the similar in Texas, the place he compiled a three.65 ERA in his first begins of a season, relatively upper than his profession mark. He additionally had nice stuff in his warm-up within the bullpen Saturday, in accordance to people who noticed it.

So possibly he had some first-game jitters as soon as he took the mound, which is not unparalleled — even for elite fingers within the sport. However mixed along with his International Collection efficiency closing fall, he has now given up 13 runs in his previous 7⅔ innings pitched. Simply because it may well be unfair to pass judgement on a tumbler after one sport, it is simply as unfair to pass judgement on him with 5 months in between.

It may not topic to a couple. Darvish goes to need to shed the recognition of an underachiever. It isn’t that he has had a nasty profession — it is that his stuff screams he must be higher.

None of that mattered Saturday as a result of Darvish had nowhere close to his best possible stuff. To wit: Miami hitters had been Three-for-Nine in at-bats that ended on his fastball whilst he generated just one swing-and-miss out of 22 swings on that pitch. That tied for the fewest swings-and-misses on his fastball for the reason that starting of closing season, whilst the four.five p.c omit charge used to be the second one lowest for him over the last two seasons. Final analysis: His fastball used to be a large number.

“They made me throw extra pitches than I anticipated, so the rhythm were given inconsistent there,” Darvish mentioned.

This can be a Marlins staff now not precisely filled with totally advanced main league hitters, so it is laborious to peer the opponent as the large impediment.

“Was once most definitely too fearful to have a super debut,” catcher Willson Contreras mentioned. “He overlooked a large number of spots along with his fastball, even with a slider too. He did not have it nowadays. He did not get them to chase so much. That is one thing we want from him.”

And it got here on an evening the Cubs wanted it. Now not the similar approach the Dodgers wanted him closing fall, in fact, however nevertheless he wasn’t in a position to devour the innings that had been wanted.

“Not anything used to be completely proper nowadays,” Maddon mentioned.

A ball hit off Darvish’s proper leg in his ultimate inning did not assist issues, despite the fact that he stayed within the sport and mentioned he used to be fantastic. That used to be adopted by means of a imaginable cramp in his arm that “went away” temporarily.

Truthful or unfair, the jury shall be out on Darvish till he proves he is usually a constant, dominant pitcher for his new staff — and earn that massive paycheck.

“He’ll have a super yr,” Contreras mentioned. “The primary one wasn’t as just right as he’s.”

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