That’s Not Like Yu: In 2018, Darvish off to a rare rough start

CHICAGO – Everyone takes some time to adjust to their new surroundings, whether they’re starting a new office job or setting up in a new apartment.

What’s different about what Yu Darvish is going through at the moment is he’s doing so on Chicago’s biggest stage and one of its biggest paydays. So the normal slack that someone would get to adjust really doesn’t happen much for him.

That’s why the alarms continue to sound for Cubs’ fans after another difficult day for the team’s newest starter. The Rockies crushed three homers into the warm air at Wrigley Field on Wednesday, chasing Darvish off before the fifth inning for the third time in his last four starts.

His five earned runs push his ERA to an even 6.00 for the season and the 11-2 Colorado triumph leaves his record at 0-3.

Of course, this is one month into about six or seven months of pitching for Darvish, so there is some holding back of worry or frustration for the team and front office, which chose him over Jake Arrieta this offseason. His six-year, $126 million contract put a healthy amount of expectation on the pitcher, who is known for his electric pitches but came off a poor Game 7 loss to the Astros in the World Series in November.

Some of the early concern comes from the fact that Darvish traditionally has been a fast starter in his career, and this year marks the first time that Darvish is under .500 after the month of April.

Here are the pitcher’s records during that time when he was with the Texas Rangers. Remember, Darvish missed the first month of the 2015 and 2016 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery.

2017 – 3-2, 3.03 ERA

2014 – 1-1, 2.59 ERA

2013 – 5-1, 2.33 ERA

2012 – 4-0, 2.19 ERA

It’s certainly not like Yu to not pitch well early. Perhaps it’s just taking a bit longer to adjust to a new team, since it is the first time he has done so to start a season, having joined the Dodgers via trade last July.

At least time is on Darvish’s side, but the question is how long patience will be for the Cubs and their fans.