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VIDEO: Yu Darvish throws five innings in minor-league game

And, a few notes on a ridiculous conclusion to Cubs Cactus League action.

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

MESA, Arizona — The first pitch Yu Darvish threw in his minor-league outing against a team of Triple-A Rockies was sent over the right-center field wall for a home run.

Then he gave up another hit, and started looking at his right hand, and that sounds pretty uh-oh, doesn’t it?

But Darvish settled down and threw well through five innings (a bit less, officially, but there was one inning where they had him face a fourth batter after retiring three guys on about six pitches), and here’s the full rundown thanks to‘s Jordan Bastian:

And that’s how I saw it, too, apart from the one time in the first inning he looked down at his hand. I don’t see any reason he wouldn’t be ready to go against the Rangers. If the Cubs stay in the same rotation order they’re in now, he’d go on Saturday, but because they have an off day Friday, they could have Cole Hamels (who starts Monday against the Red Sox) take the Saturday start and have Darvish go next Sunday, which would give him a full six days’ rest.

Hey, look who was standing right behind me at Field 6 at the complex!

Al Yellon

About 100 fans were watching, along with a couple dozen Cubs minor leaguers who weren’t taking part in either game. The Cubs minor leaguers who played in the game in which Darvish pitched: Jacob Hannemann, Trent Giambrone, Zack Short, Charcer Burks, P.J. Higgins (who caught Darvish), Ian Rice, Brandon Hughes, D.J. Artis and Vimael Machin.

Also playing in this game was Daniel Descalso, who played both second and third base and who took an at-bat in every inning. Here’s one of Descalso’s plate appearances, with a runner going, this one resulted in a hit:

Al Yellon

Here are the five innings Darvish threw, which I ran on Facebook Live. As always, apologies for the occasional jostling of my phone.

First inning

Yu Darvish minor league game 1st inning

Posted by Bleed Cubbie Blue on Sunday, March 24, 2019

Second inning

Yu Darvish minor league game 2nd inning

Posted by Bleed Cubbie Blue on Sunday, March 24, 2019

Third inning

Yu Darvish minor league game 3rd inning

Posted by Bleed Cubbie Blue on Sunday, March 24, 2019

Fourth inning

Yu Darvish minor league game 4th inning

Posted by Bleed Cubbie Blue on Sunday, March 24, 2019

Fifth inning

Yu Darvish minor league game 5th inning

Posted by Bleed Cubbie Blue on Sunday, March 24, 2019

Two more photos before we move on to the Cactus League finale. Another shot of Descalso:

Al Yellon

Trent Giambrone:

Al Yellon

Now. A bunch of guys in Cubs uniforms beat a bunch of guys in Padres uniforms at Peoria Sunday afternoon, 24-6.

I mean... I don’t even know what to say about a game like that, especially since many of the players I saw in the minor-league game in Mesa are of about equivalent ability and level in the Cubs system as the guys who played in Peoria, and in some cases the Mesa guys are at a higher level. Everyone got hits, pretty much everyone scored runs, the Cubs went 18-for-28 (!!!!) with runners in scoring position... I mean, how do you even get that many at-bats with RISP? Most games, maybe a team gets seven or eight at-bats with RISP.

Cristhian Adames, who could play meaningful innings for the Cubs at some point this year, went 3-for-5 with five RBI and Phillip Evans, who also could be in the infield mix at some point in 2019, went 4-for-5 with six RBI, including a two-run homer. The Cubs hit 10 (!) doubles in this game, which would have tied the franchise record (set in 1931) if it had been a regular-season game.

Here’s some of the fun from the first inning [VIDEO], including Evans’ homer.

All you can do after a game like that is tip your cap and laugh. Baseball should be fun, right?

There will be two more games’ worth of fun at Sloan Park this spring, as the defending World Series champion Red Sox come in for a pair. Cole Hamels, as noted above, will start for the Cubs. Rick Porcello starts for the Red Sox. Game time Monday is 8:05 p.m. CT and there will be TV coverage via NBC Sports Chicago and radio on 670 The Score.