In one spectacular inning, Chicago Cubs pitcher Yu Darvish made everyone forget the disappointing start to his 2018 season.
It started with an awe-inspiring pitch that left one Milwaukee Brewers hitter frozen in his tracks. It ended with Darvish prone on the basepaths after he nearly spun himself into the ground with some truly awkward baserunning.
In the end, both were moments that had Cubs fans smiling.
It all happened in the fifth inning of Chicago’s 3-2 win Friday afternoon at Wrigley Field.
The pitch we speak of was a Yu Darvish special. With a two-strike count on Milwaukee’s Manny Piña, Darvish broke off a suuuuper slow 64 mph curveball to absolutely freeze the batter.
No matter how many times we see Darvish’s version of an eephus pitch, it never gets old. And hitters never seem to see it coming either. When they’re not frozen like Piña, they’re often taking a dismal swing that rarely produces contact.
Darvish had everything working on Friday. One batter prior, he got a swinging strikeout on a 95 mph fastball that was spotted perfectly on the outside corner. When you’re having to consider 95 on the paint, it makes a 64 mph pitch with ridiculous spin all the more impossible to measure. That sequence in particular finally had Cubs fans feeling like the Darvish who dominated in the American League might be ready to emerge.
Of course, the AL version of Darvish didn’t have to do much baserunning. While it’s known Darvish is a pretty good athlete who can pack a strong punch at the plate, his baserunning tends to leave coaches holding their breath.
That was the case later in the inning when Darvish doubled, and then stumbled after thinking about stretching it to a triple.
Easy does it, Yu.
The Cubs are all about aggressive baserunning. Still, we’re guessing they would prefer Darvish to slow it down. Their investment is in Darvish’s pitching. When he’s pitching like he did Friday, those 90 feet he wanted so badly aren’t nearly as important.
Some other pitchers around MLB couldn’t help but weigh in after watching Darvish’s tumble.
Yu…. ♂️. Not doing a lot here to help us dispel the pitchers aren’t athletes thing. https://t.co/685zoAJzXf
— Justin Verlander (@JustinVerlander) April 27, 2018
All things considered, Friday was a good day for Yu Darvish. We can definitely confirm that his pitching and attempt at baserunning made our day in a very Bartolo Colon type way, too.
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