Yu Darvish was scratched from his last scheduled start, which was supposed to be last Sunday at Wrigley Field, with what was described as “forearm tightness.”
“This started July 3 at Pittsburgh,” Darvish recalled Friday. “I threw a two-seamer to (Colin) Moran in the sixth inning. That was the first time.”
Fascinating. A pitcher not only knows the game where he got hurt, but the specific pitch?
Here’s the at-bat in question:
Darvish threw three two-seamers to Colin Moran in that at-bat, and if I had to guess which one it was, I’d say it was pitch 6, which hit nearly 99 miles per hour. Per Statcast, that is probably the fastest pitch he has thrown all season.
This MLB.com article by Mike Petriello talks about the 10 (!) different pitches Darvish has thrown this year, two more different pitches than any other MLB pitcher and about five more than the “average” pitcher. It’s well worth reading, a fascinating deep dive into pitch types.
It is worth noting that in the nine starts Darvish has made since he says the forearm tightness started, he’s posted a 2.93 ERA and 0.795 WHIP and has walked three (!) and struck out 72 in 55⅓ innings, his best stretch of pitching since he signed with the Cubs last year.
Forearm tightness or no, Darvish has been the Cubs’ most effective starter since the All-Star break. Perhaps taking a one-start break from this will help him put together another excellent outing tonight in Milwaukee.