Yu a Cub. 33 comments


Yu Darvish, ex-starter for the Rangers who, for some reason, was either widely loved or widely hated, is now a Chicago Cub.

He gets $21 million per year, plus incentives.

In five major seasons, almost all with Texas, he has a 3.42 ERA and a .571 winning percentage. During the regular season.

Not so much on the post-season.

Darvish is coming off a mediocre regular season and perhaps the worst World Series performance by a starting pitcher ever, when he went two games without getting out of the second inning in either game.

It’s the post-season where Darvish craters.

In six starts, he is 2-4 with a 5.81 ERA.

He started the Rangers wild card game after the Collapse of 2012 but was outpitched by Baltimore’s Joe Saunders, in a 1-0 loss.

Then, he had a dreadful start in Game 2 of the Division Series against Toronto, giving up four home runs, and five total runs, in just five innings of a game that put Texas in an 0-2 playoff hole.

Forgotten in last season’s World Series meltdown was the game he pitched in the Division Series againt the Diamondbacks and Zack Greinke, going five innings, which is all the Dodgers allow any starter other than Kershaw to go, giving up just one run, in a game he won. Then he out-pitched Kyle Hendricks and the Cubs in Game 3 of the Championship Series, allowing just one run in six innings.

Then came disaster.

Then came the World Series meltdown.

Here’s hoping the Cubs get regular-season Yu and not post-season Yu.

Good luck in Chicago, Darvish. Thanks for your time in Texas.

 

  • Gregor_S

    He also beat the Cubs in last year’s postseason, going 6 innings and allowing one run.

    He did get rocked in the 2016 game against Toronto but as a partial defense he was following Brocail’s order to throw nothing but fastballs in the early innings. All four HRs were on fastballs.

    I’m a Yu fan but I think it’s fair to say he hasn’t been quite the same pitcher since returning from TJ. Prior to TJ he was dominant against everybody but Oakland. Since TJ he’s been much more inconsistent, looking like his old self sometimes and getting shelled other times. That said, he was better with the Rangers last year than his record showed, once you factor in the games he left with a lead or tied because he had reached the dreaded 100 pitch limit and Banny brought in Barnette, Bush, Dyson, and company to lose the game.

    When Darvish was at his pre-TJ best he stood out because of his assortment of pitches. So the Rangers decided to make him a conventional pitcher with a smaller arsenal — Brocail didn’t know how to “coach” him on pitches he was unfamiliar with. The result was that he eventually became a two-pitch pitcher — fastball and slider. And when the slider isn’t breaking, as it wasn’t in the WS, he has nothing to fall back on.

    The Rangers also decided to have him “pitch to contact” so he could take longer to get to 100 pitches, which must always dictate game strategy. Interestingly, the Rangers have said it’s a priority to cut down on their hitters’ strikeouts, yet when one of their pitchers gets opposing hitters to strike out a lot that’s a bad thing. Seems to me there’s an obvious logical fallacy there, but somehow the great analytical minds running the team haven’t picked up on it.

    Bottom line, I don’t know what the Cubs are getting in Darvish. I think they’ll manage him better than the Rangers did but it’s unclear whether he’ll ever become the pitcher he was before TJ again.

    One person who’s probably happy about the news that Yu is a Cub is Arte Moreno. Although Arte has long suffered from Ranger envy he has an even more serious case of Dodger envy, and the Dodgers have done nothing to improve themselves this winter while the Angels have done a lot. Credit goes to their GM Eppler, who despite a mediocre farm system has added Upton. Cozart, and Kinsler while giving up hardly anything. The Angels now have one of the greatest defensive teams ever. Maldonado, Simmons, and Calhoun are Gold Gloves, Cozart and Kinsler have been contenders, and Trout is pretty good. Upton has looked shaky to me on fly balls but he has the speed and arm to be really good too. If Richards and one or two of their other formerly injured starters are healthy they could give the Astros some real competition.

    • dearmidol

      Great post, Gregor.

      • Gregor_S

        Thanks

    • dearmidol

      Oh, and thanks for keeping me honest. I overlooked that game against the Cubs in the playoffs last year. I’ll make a tweak to my post.

      • Gregor_S

        If I tried to write an article every day which I could never do, let alone with your style and humor, I’d make a heck of lot more mistakes than you do.

        It’s interesting how Yu’s two wins in the postseason have been almost completely forgotten in the wake of his WS implosion. It’s like the wins never happened.

        • Gregor_S

          Oh, and I forgot to mention that the Angels added Ohtani. Talk about overlooking something…

          • JacobMcCandles

            Halos have def taken the second spot in the AL West on paper

        • dearmidol

          One reason I think for that is he was the third starter, and in both cases, those games weren’t all that important. Plus, being on the Dodgers, they don’t allow starters to go deep so you tend to forget their starts.

    • JacobMcCandles

      We all have our favs in losing causes…..I know you love Darvish, I too was continually amazed by his array, Unfortunately I do not think anyone could say Darvish was ever one of the best unless you use SOs as your determining factor. Wins/Losses as well are not always the litmus test unless looked at over a career.

      Bottom line is Darvish only won more than 13 games in a season ONCE and this was on a very good Rangers team. Don’t know where you got pitch to contact as Darvish never employed that tactic and led to his biggest weakness, never being able to stick around. Darvish was above avg but was nor is one of the best.

    • WhoKnowscs

      I can’t think of a single pitcher Brocall has helped improve while here. In fact I think all of them may be worse off under his tutelage. But that could just be because of how rigid of a pitch counter Banny is. I wish we could get rid of both of them though.

    • possumrld

      I do agree that the Rangers ruined him in part, by turning him into just another a “plane vanilla” pitcher, for some odd and unknown reason. It was like the bought a high powered arsenal of 10 different weapons. And then they decided to just use a “one caliber fits all” approach. It was quite frustrating to watch it happening too.

      • JacobMcCandles

        From most accounts….Darvish didn’t embrace coaching. I remember several on here applauding LA coaching staff, right before the lights were brightest and Darvish was strummed by the Stros

  • WhoKnowscs

    When a starter loses a game 1-0 it says more about the rest of his team than him. Especially when it’s to Joe the Innings eater.

  • possumrld

    A 1 – 0 game isn’t a fair w

    • WhoKnowscs

      And he sure ain’t Yu’s fault.

  • WhoKnowscs

    In the MLB thread about Yu’s signing they were doing the typical talk of W-L Record. I posted the following.

    “I remember back when Scherzer won the Cy Young as a Tiger(2013). He
    went until mid-July before he was handed his first loss(by the Texas
    Rangers). Of course he was good but that year Darvish had a lower ERA,
    gave up fewer runs overall and had more K’s all while having only 4.2
    fewer innings of work. He had many stats that were better than Max.
    Scherzer had only 4 appearances where he didn’t give up a run(4 Wins),
    Darvish had 7(6 wins)

    What didn’t he have? A 20+ wins season like Scherzer(Darvish only had 13 wins). Of course, he also didn’t have the average 6 runs/game of support that Max had. Darvish averaged
    4.28125 runs/game of support. Darvish did lose 4 games 1-0 as well. And he had only 3 runs or less of support for 17 of 32 games.

    The best pitcher in the league couldn’t win much with 3 runs or less/game
    of support. But with 6 runs/game I bet quite a few would have a lot
    more of wins.

    Of course Scherzer has gotten better today but wins aren’t everything.”

    • JacobMcCandles

      Need some cheese with that? Lol…play the cards you are dealt

      • von_todwin

        So, a hypothetical: if a pitcher won 30 games, but had a 7+ ERA and just happened to play on a team that scored 10 runs every game be worthy of a CYA? At some point, an offense can make up for a pitcher’s weaknesses (or vice versa)–usually in fairly small ways, but that year was a particularly notable example of it. Yes, there is an argument that Darvish lets the other team back into the game too often. But that’s an argument that needs to be made and is up for debate.

        Also, if it wouldn’t be a Herculean task to ask someone to comb through years of pages, I would really challenge you to find the last time ANYONE insisted that Darvish was “the best,” whether that’s Gregor, myself, or any of Darvish’s other supporters on this board. No one’s saying that, and we haven’t been for a long while.

        • JacobMcCandles

          Wow…..touched an emotion I guess..your first paragraph is fairly simplistic….LO….so I will ask you the question, do you consider Darvish top of the line, evidence pointing to the contrary?😎

          • von_todwin

            It’s simplistic because you’ve advanced a fairly simplistic view that a pitcher’s worth is judged by wins.

            You didn’t answer my question, so I don’t see why I should answer yours. If you touched a nerve, it’s because I find people straw man arguments incredibly annoying. Have fun fighting the easy target that no one actually presented.

          • JacobMcCandles

            Guess I didn’t feel like your question was worthy of answering…but if you are desparate for one, yes a pitcher that wins 30 games is deserving of a Cy…..LOLA…spend your time reading between the lines of posts you will only cause yourself consternation as you have here.

            Most importantly Oz never gave the tin man, that he didn’t already have. And it appears you presented the target Mr Tell.

      • WhoKnowscs

        Didn’t really care one way or the other about the Cy Young, though it might seem that way because of how I worded it., I just got sick and tired of the pundits using wins as a testament to how good a player was while ignoring all the other factors. Hearing “Max Scherzer knows how to win” while he had games where he went out gave up 5 runs or more but didn’t walk away with a loss every time is a really good representation of how bad wins are at determining how good a player was In 2013 Scherzer had 4 games where here gave up 5 or more runs. He was 1-1 in them. Darvish had only 3 and 5 was his ceiling. He was 0-3 in them. in 2013 Darvish had 13 games where he gave up 1 run or less. He was 7-4 in them and 4-4 after April. Scherzer had 11 that year. He was 9-0 in them.

        In latar years I think Darvish turned into a disappointment, but I think a lot of the expectations were because of how the organization pumped him up to be and ace while he got worse.

  • FlappingGums

    I second the last line for sure!! 😀

  • possumrld

    By it’s self, yes, a 1 – 0 game is a very unfair way to judge a pitcher. But I think many Rangers fans felt like Yu was almost always on the wrong end of those type games, or most 1 run games, whatever the final score was, like “4 – 3”. I was a huge Yu fan at the outset. But in the final days, I began to see him as having the “CJ Wilson-itus”. Or in other words, when the spot light got turned onto Yu, he mostly wilted under the ‘heat”, And it wasn’t just in the post seaosn. Because as long as it was rutine game, he seemed to do OK. But in just about every big game he ever pitched it seemed like he washed out by about the 4th or the 5th inning.
    And I think that is what eventually put so many Rangers fans off about Yu.

    • WhoKnowscs

      I remember 1 game where Darvish gave up a solo home run on his 2nd pitch of the game. He went on to lose the game 1-0.

      • possumrld

        Ha! ha! Yes, there were some of those for sure, Wkscs! It was almost like he was “snake bit”! Because his next start the Rangers might come out score 3 runs in the 1st inning, and then I remember thinking, “Oh wow! We’ve got this one!” Then Yu would come out and give the 3 runs or more right back to the opposition, the bottom half of the inning, or the top half of the next one.

    • JacobMcCandles

      Solid poss…..

  • Rowdy Yates

    Pitching half his games in Wrigley Darvish will lead the NL in HRs allowed.

    • WhoKnowscs

      Unless there’s a strong wind in that day, then the ball wouldn’t get out no matter how hard they seem to hit it. At least I’ve seen some games at Wrigley that feel that way.

    • JacobMcCandles

      I actually think Darvish will do better in the NL…for me its always been, he is not top of the line, nor will he ever be….we can all whine about low scoring games, TJ surgery, bad coaching,,,,choose your excuse, bottom line the guy just has not lived up to the billing.

      • WhoKnowscs

        2013 was his best season, after that it was downhill with one excuse after the next. Meanwhile it was the front office that pumped up the top billing to get people in the seats. And yeah he did flake out more and more towards the end. But 2013 was a good year and he just always got the short end of the stick.

        • JacobMcCandles

          Don’t remember the Front office touting…..truth be told again, ad nauseum, he is just not a top of the line pitcher

  • JacobMcCandles