Yu Darvish is having the best year of his career so far, and the Chicago Cubs pitcher has a clear reason behind it.
Darvish has always been known for having a wide array of pitches. In 2020, that arsenal appears bigger than ever. He attributed his success to having a pitch for any situation and any matchup issue he faces.
Darvish said in past years he might have 3-4 issues per start. This year? Maybe one. Today's issue, four-seamers to righties.
"But I have a lot of cutters — three or four kinds of cutters. Two kinds of sliders. Or three kinds of curveballs. So I can replace the four-seam."
Safety is paramount, though, and Darvish is convinced the Cubs are responding accordingly. It appears to be enough to get him to play, and that’s a big deal. The 33-year-old posted a 3.98 ERA last season, and may end up being the staff ace in 2020.
Chicago Cubs pitcher Yu Darvish is known for his wide variety of pitches, and it looks like he’s trying to add his latest work to his in-game arsenal.
According to Cubs pitching coach Tommy Hottovy, Darvish is practicing his new pitch during simulated games. It’s described as a hybrid between a two-seam fastball and a splitter. Darvish refers to it as “the supreme.”
Cubs pitching coach Tommy Hottovy said Darvish threw his new pitch (dubbed "The Supreme" by Yu) a couple times in Saturday's intrasquad game. It's a two-seam, splitter hybrid.
You can actually see the pitch in action in this video. It drops down and to the right, which would almost certainly give hitters on both sides of the plate huge problems if he were to break it out in an actual game.
Darvish posted a 3.98 ERA last year, striking out 229 in 178.2 innings. A pitch like that could certainly improve both of those numbers.
Yu Darvish is adding some heat to his repertoire amid the current hiatus.
The Chicago Cubs veteran took to Twitter on Friday to show off a new pitch in his arsenal. The pitch appeared to begin at roughly belt-high before abruptly dropping downward and to the right, a crazy feat for a right-handed pitcher.
“This is supreme,” Darvish wrote in the tweet, according to a rough translation. “I still don’t know how the batter will react.” He also said the pitch clocked in at 150 kilometers per hour (equivalent to about 93 miles per hour).
Darvish is 33 years old now and once had some of the nastiest stuff that MLB hitters had ever seen when he first came over from Japan. But the former AL strikeouts leader underwent Tommy John surgery in 2015 and has looked fairly hittable ever since.
The four-time MLB All-Star Darvish recently turned 33 and is coming off an underwhelming 2019 campaign, going 6-8 with a 3.98 ERA and a league-leading 33 homers allowed. He has four more years left on his deal with the Cubs however, so the increased velocity has to be a welcome sight for them.
Darvish lost twice in the 2017 World Series to the Astros, including in Game 7. He posted a 21.60 ERA in that series, and we now know there’s reason to doubt whether that outcome was fair. Darvish certainly does, and those doubts will linger for a long time.
Yu Darvish has a lot of questions about the Houston Astros’ cheating scandal, but he’s managed to take it in stride despite being one of its biggest victims.
That continued Sunday. Darvish voiced his opinion that the Astros should be stripped of their World Series title in light of the cheating they engaged in. Naturally, some Astros fans on Twitter who were happy to blindly defend their organization’s conduct trolled him on Twitter, with one even sending the pitcher a photo of the World Series trophy.
Now with the Chicago Cubs, Darvish has handled this about as well as he could have. He posted a 21.60 ERA in two World Series losses in 2017, and now we know what the Astros were up to during that time. He’d be entirely justified in being angry, and perhaps he is, but he’s also shown off a top notch sense of humor through the ordeal.
Few players lost more in the 2017 World Series than Yu Darvish. His reputation was significantly hindered by his poor performances in two starts that series, including a horrible outing in the decisive Game 7. Now, given the information that has come to light, he’s feeling a bit differently.
Darvish wondered aloud Sunday why the Houston Astros were not stripped of that title in light of the large-scale cheating they were engaged in at the time. Darvish compared it to Olympic athletes who had their medals stripped after being found to have cheated, and questioned why the Astros were not subject to a similar penalty.
Darvish raises issue of why Olympians get stripped of medals for cheating, no similar penalty for Astros
Darvish might be the most prominent player to ask this question so far, but he’s not the first. Stripping the Astros of their title would certainly send a message, though it probably wouldn’t do much more than that. It’s not as if the Dodgers would get the title as a result, and one of their players has made clear they wouldn’t want it that way anyway.
The 2017 World Series has long haunted Yu Darvish, and the findings revealed this week have him asking questions. Namely, Darvish wonders whether the Houston Astros were stealing signs against him.
Darvish was knocked out of both his World Series starts — including the critical Game 7 — before the second inning. Him getting hit so hard was surprising considering he dominated in two earlier postseason starts for the dodgers, which came against Arizona and the Cubs.
Yu Darvish continues to demonstrate he has an elite sense of humor.
The Chicago Cubs pitcher was on the mound for Games 3 and 7 of the 2017 World Series for the Dodgers and was hit hard by the Houston Astros both times, losing both games. That came after he was dominant in wins over the Diamondbacks and Cubs earlier in the postseason, too.
Many were perplexed by the dominant ace getting pounded by Houston in the World Series, and only accusations of him tipping pitches could explain Houston’s success in those games.
In light of the penalties against the Astros being announced on Monday, Darvish sent a funny tweet suggesting the Dodgers might celebrate themselves as World Series champs (MLB’s statement declared the Astros cheated in the postseason). Of course, Darvish poked fun at himself with a “Yu Garbage” mention.
If the Dodgers are planning a 2017 World Series parade, I would love to join! So if that is in the works, can someone make a Yu Garbage Jersey for me?
Darvish and the Dodgers have never accepted Houston’s suggestion that the pitcher was tipping his pitches. Darvish wondered if the Astros had a way of cheating on the road. He was made out to be the goat of the World Series, but as time goes on, it seems more and more that he may have just been wronged by a cheating Astros team.