Yu Darvish is starting today. More on him below, but I wanted to call your attention to this article in The Athletic by Patrick Mooney. In it, Joe Maddon addresses claims by some that Darvish doesn’t “compete”:
“I think it’s approach,” Maddon said before Thursday night’s 1-0 win over the Milwaukee Brewers at Wrigley Field. “I’ve already talked to him about that. Just like I think our hitting goes back to approach, I think the same with his pitching. Just trying to get him to — how shall I say? — slow down moments.
“This concept that he doesn’t compete is absolutely fabricated and false. This guy is one of the best pitchers in the world. How could you ever arrive at that point — not in the United States, in the world — if you don’t compete?”
If there’s any manager who can help Darvish get through this kind of issue, it’s Maddon. Darvish is not off to a good start as a Cub, as you know. But as Maddon noted, Darvish is someone who’s had a tremendous amount of success, both in Japan and MLB. It should be noted that Jon Lester’s first month as a Cub was pretty awful, too (6.23 ERA, 1.569 WHIP in five starts), and he then followed that up with an outstanding May 2015 (1.76 ERA, 1.171 WHIP in six starts).
Darvish will be just fine. And I believe that will start this afternoon.
Here are today’s particulars.
Yu Darvish, RHP vs. Brent Suter, LHP
Yu Darvish’s best start of 2018 was against the Brewers, April 7 in Miller Park. He threw six innings, allowed just two hits and a run, and struck out nine.
That’s really good! All he has to do is replicate that and...
Not so easy, at least based on his other three starts, which combined have resulted in a 9.22 ERA and 2.122 WHIP in 13⅔ innings. Yikes, that’s DFA level.
Obviously, the Cubs are not getting rid of Yu Darvish. He has talent. He has previous MLB success. He’ll figure it out. Let’s hope it starts today.
Brent Suter got hit pretty hard by the Cubs April 5 at Miller Park: eight hits, three walks and five runs (four earned) in five innings. In fact, Suter has pitched past the fifth inning just once in five starts this year. Current Cubs are hitting .297 (19-for-64) against him. Albert Almora Jr. is 4-for-9 and Addison Russell 4-for-7. Small sample sizes, of course.
Today’s game is on NBC Sports Chicago. It’s also on MLB Network (outside the Chicago and Milwaukee markets).
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The 2018 Game Thread procedure will be the same as the one used during 2017. Here's how it works.
You'll find the game preview posted separately on the front page, two hours before game time (90 minutes for some early day games following night games).
At the same time, a StoryStream containing the preview will also post on the front page. The First Pitch Thread and all the overflow threads will be published in that stream, as well as the recap. The recap will also live on the front page as a separate post, and at the time I write the recap I will rename the stream "Cubs vs. (Team) (Day of Week) Game Threads" so you can go back and find every thread related to that particular game.
You will also be able to find the preview, First Pitch Thread, all the overflow threads and recap in the box marked "Chicago Cubs Game Threads" at the bottom of the front page (you can also find them in this section link). They will also appear in the game's StoryStream as noted above.
The First Pitch thread will post at five minutes before game time, then an overflow thread at one hour, two hours and 2:45 after the scheduled game time.
Discuss amongst yourselves.