Yu Darvish’s meltdowns ‘a concern,’ but Cubs ‘not going to press panic button’

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Darvish (left) with strategist Mike Borzello and pitcher Kyle Hendricks before Sunday’s game.

DENVER — The Cubs aren’t exactly sure about how to solve the curious case of Yu Darvish and his quick-to-unravel fifth innings.

But it continued to be a focus of their attention the morning after the big-ticket right-hander’s two-out walk of the Rockies pitcher in the fifth Saturday turned a scoreless, cruise-control outing into a five-run meltdown and loss. It was the third time in four starts with the Cubs that Darvish had succumbed to a similar finish in the fifth.

‘‘It’s happened a couple of times so far, which is a concern,’’ pitching coach Jim Hickey said. ‘‘I’m not going to press the panic button yet, but it’s certainly something that needs to be looked into and addressed.’’

To that end, Darvish had a lengthy sit-down Sunday with pitching strategist Mike Borzello as manager Joe Maddon preached patience.

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Catcher Willson Contreras said he thought Darvish got ‘‘too comfortable’’ with two outs Saturday. Darvish disagreed but offered no explanation, other than losing his rhythm and taking responsibility to fix it. Hickey suggested that trying too hard not to walk the pitcher might have caused the command problem in that at-bat, but he had no theory for why such things are leading to meltdowns.

‘‘If it happened on numerous occasions, I might have a theory,’’ Hickey said. ‘‘But it’s happened a couple of times, and is it a coincidence or not? I don’t know.’’

Contreras was pointed in his comments Saturday about what went wrong in the fifth, but he made it clear Sunday he wasn’t pointing a finger at Darvish when he told reporters how that inning ‘‘got us [expletive] up.’’

Contreras said he saw the two-out pattern earlier in the game, ‘‘but in the fifth was crucial for us. It got us [expletive] up.’’

He was misunderstood by reporters to have said ‘‘he’’ in the last sentence.

Either way, he was right. And he wouldn’t have been the only one in the clubhouse with the same thought. All of which made it a world apart from Miguel Montero’s comments about Jake Arrieta last season.

Incidentally, the fact Contreras didn’t start Sunday was unrelated. He and shortstop Addison Russell got a planned day off ahead of a team day off Monday after a grueling stretch.

Maddon said Saturday he still was ‘‘getting to know’’ Darvish. On Sunday, though, he said the learning process won’t involve recalling Darvish’s former personal catcher, Chris Gimenez, from the minors anytime soon.

‘‘I really believe that Yu’s going to have a great season,’’ Maddon said. ‘‘I think he’s really good. We’ve got to get him on a normal schedule, pitching every fifth day, hopefully under more normal circumstances.’’

The game-time temperatures for Darvish’s last two starts were 42 and 41 degrees, the two coldest starts of his career. Nonetheless, he pitched four scoreless innings in each before unraveling in the fifth.

‘‘He knows what he needs to do to get better or more consistent,’’ Maddon said. ‘‘And I have some ideas, too, that I’m going to relate to him.

‘‘But this is our team. Contreras is really good, [Victor] Caratini’s done a great job and I love Gimenez. But I don’t think that’s the answer right now.’’

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