Yu Darvish Keeps Groove Going In Cubs' Win

Darvish earned his first win at Wrigley Field since joining the Cubs.

Bruce Levine
July 17, 2019 - 5:55 pm

CHICAGO (670 The Score) -- Fourteen was the charm for Cubs right-hander Yu Darvish.

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After 13 futile attempts (eight no-decisions and five losses) to win a start at Wrigley Field since signing with the Cubs in February 2018, Darvish finally earned a home victory Wednesday afternoon. He threw six shutout innings of two-hit ball to lead the Cubs to a 5-2 win against the Reds.

"It was amazing to get my first win at Wrigley," Darvish said. "I have been waiting a long time for that."

Darvish no-hit the Reds through four innings and finished with seven strikeouts and no walks. He pumped his fist in a show of exuberant emotion after striking out Yasiel Puig to get out of the sixth, then was removed with a 2-0 lead after 83 pitches.

Cubs manager Joe Maddon thought Darvish had "no-hit stuff."

"Yu just keeps trending in the right direction," Maddon said. "That last out, he pretty much emptied the tank. He was convicted in what he wanted to do, and it really worked out well. I liked that. The confidence you see in him is sky high."

Darvish has now thrown exactly six shutout innings in each of his past two starts. He has struck out 15, allowed four hits and walked just one in those 12 innings. 

"My stuff is really good right now," Darvish said. "I know what I have to do against left-handed hitters. That is why I am not giving up a lot of runs."

After winning the rubber match against the Reds, the Cubs have now won five of six since the All-Star break and continue to lead the Brewers by 2.5 games in the NL Central.

"This is good momentum for us going into the break," first baseman Anthony Rizzo said. "We kind of reset. We need to just keep winning series and winning ballgames."

Darvish is 3-4 with a 4.46 ERA and 1.24 WHIP in 20 starts this season. He leads baseball with 13 no-decisions and had a stretch of 10 straight across May and June.

Lately, Darvish has been displaying more confidence, his teammates said.

"He is more of an animal on the mound now," Rizzo said. "I could hear him grunting in the sixth and reaching back for a little more when he needed it. He has confidence in his fastball. He is definitely fun to play behind."

Bruce Levine covers the Cubs and White Sox for 670 The Score. Follow him on Twitter @MLBBruceLevine​.