Yu Darvish walks four but healthy in Cubs 5-4 loss
Matt Kartozian - USA Today Sports

Yu Darvish walks four but healthy in Cubs 5-4 loss

by - Columnist -

Today was the day. Yu Darvish made his much-anticipated return to the Cubs’ rotation, and the outing certainly didn’t go as planned. Seeing only 1.1 innings of work, Darvish would be chased after allowing two runs and four walks. However, he showed great life on his fastball throughout his performance.

The 2-1 Diamondbacks would visit the 3-1 Cubs at Sloan Park this afternoon, and while the Cubs would have a phenomenal first inning, Arizona would have an even better second.

It was Yu Darvish’s day, then suddenly it wasn’t. Darvish came out throwing hard, with a fastball being clocked in the mid-90s, but control would prove to be an issue. Despite retiring the first two batters on just four pitches, Darvish would give up a bloop single, followed by a pair of walks, loading the bases with two out. He’d pitch his way out of that jam in the first, but the problems would continue into the second.

Moving to the Cubs’ half of the first, Albert Almora, Jr. would assume the leadoff role after Jason Heyward became a late scratch (due to personal reasons), with Mark Zagunis replacing Heyward in right and batting seventh. The change worked, at least initially, as the Cubs would produce big in the first on a combination of hits, walks and an error. Almora would hit a leadoff double, followed by a KB walk, and a Rizzo single, as the Cubs mounted a four-run assault, chasing D-Back’s starter, Zack Godley, from the game after retiring just one batter.

Darvish would start the second inning for Chicago, but he’d only last a-third before giving up a pair of runs (one earned) and his third and fourth walks of the day.

"I felt pretty good physically," Darvish said to reporters. "No pain. that is the big part. This was a great day for me. I just couldn't throw strikes with my breaking ball."

The D-backs would continue to pound away, scoring an additional three runs off of Cubs’ righty, Scott Effross, putting them in the lead 5-4.

The score would remain unchanged through the eighth, despite the D-backs threatening a couple of times in the later innings, with the Cubs’ sole highlight during that timeframe being Javy Baez’ double in the third. Following Baez’ double, Arizona would retire the next thirteen Cubs in order.

The Cubs would begin to rally again in the bottom of the ninth, with the score still 5-4 in favor of Arizona. With just one out, the Cubs would draw back-to-back one-out walks, putting the winning run on first. Jacob Hannemann was able to pull to a full count but would go down swinging in an attempt to tie the game. Now with two out and runners on first and second, it would be Ryan Court’s chance to produce, but he couldn’t pull it off, striking out to end the game.

With a final score of 5-4, the D-backs would improve to 2-2, while the Cubs would fall to 3-2.

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