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CHICAGO – About an hour earlier than the primary pitch Monday evening, a twister warning went into impact on the north facet of Chicago. Sirens wailed all through Wrigleyville and followers took refuge within the concourse.
However earlier than the torrential rains arrived, Yu Darvish, who was scheduled to start out for the Padres, remained on the sphere, going by means of a collection of stretches close to the right-field warning observe.
It was in that second, earlier than his first begin at Wrigley Discipline for the reason that December 2020 commerce that despatched him to San Diego, that Darvish took time to mirror. He had signed a six-year take care of the Cubs earlier than the 2018 season. In Chicago, he achieved some very excessive achievements, together with a second-place Cy Younger Award in 2020. He additionally endured some low factors: triceps and elbow accidents in 2018 that shortened his season after simply eight video games and a 4.95 ERA.
So, as tens of hundreds at Wrigley Discipline took cowl, Darvish determined he needed to soak all of it up for a minute or two.
“To be sincere with you, it was a little bit of a sentimental second for me,” Darvish stated afterwards. “The twister warning got here in and everybody left. The followers left the stands. It was like a second between me and Wrigley Discipline.”
After a delay that lasted an hour and 25 minutes, Darvish reminded the Wrigley trustworthy exactly what they had been lacking. The veteran right-hander was good (once more) Monday evening within the Padres’ 4-1 win over the Cubs. He pitched eight innings on one-run ball, putting out seven and permitting 5 hits.
“Clearly, this can be a place the place a number of issues have occurred to me, or have had a number of issues occur to me,” Darvish stated. “However on the finish of the day, I am very grateful to be right here, pitching.”
Yan Gomes’ solo shot within the second inning was Darvish’s solely misfire of the evening, a dangling slider that ended up within the left-field seats. From there, Darvish was just about untouchable in opposition to his former crew. He used a confirmed method that needs to be well-known in Chicago. He began sturdy on the early reduce, and simply when the Cubs hitters may need been getting that spin, he threw his high-octane four-seam fastball proper previous them.
Then, on the recreation’s defining second, Darvish reached into his bag of methods. With two outs and the tying run on the plate within the eighth inning, he handed Cubs left fielder Ian Happ 1-2, then threw a nasty 91-mph starter just under the strike zone.
“Certainly one of my finest pitches tonight,” Darvish stated.
Happ took a swing and missed. Darvish jumped off the mound and let loose a cry. An inning later, nearer Taylor Rogers slammed the door on a 38-24 begin for the Padres, the very best in franchise historical past and ok to convey them right into a digital tie for first place within the NL. West.
Afterward, the Padres determined to maintain issues in perspective.
“We nonetheless have 100 extra,” stated Jake Cronenworth, who went 3-for-4. “What is way.”
That overview has grow to be a theme in San Diego. The crash of 2021 continues to be contemporary in everybody’s thoughts. Actually, nobody within the Padres’ locker room appeared to even know that they’d reached a tie for the division lead.
“We’re simply apprehensive about ourselves,” first baseman Eric Hosmer stated. “… We stick with the issues that we’re good at, we predict we’ll be on the prime of these positions on the finish of the yr.”
Actually, there’s purpose to consider the Padres’ early-season success is extra sustainable this time round. That is largely on account of his seven-starter rotation.
Joe Musgrove has been the undisputed ace on the Padres’ workers this season. However take a begin in San Francisco out of the equation, and Darvish has been in second place. He lowered his ERA to three.35 on Monday evening. With out that nine-run droop in opposition to the Giants, it could be 2.20.
“It is actually exhausting to give you a plan in opposition to him, as a result of he has so many pitches that transfer in so many alternative methods,” Hosmer stated. “He is type of a nightmare as a hitter.”
Stated interim supervisor Ryan Flaherty: “He is obtained so many weapons and so many alternative types of breaking balls and fastballs, he is actually a wizard on the ball.”
Not that anybody in Chicago wanted a reminder. They’ve seen it right here earlier than. And as soon as the rains stopped and the skies calmed down on Monday evening, the basic Yu Darvish returned to Wrigley Discipline, solely this time wearing brown.
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