clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Yu Darvish-Trevor Bauer II doesn’t go Cubs’ way as they fall to Reds

Darvish allowed more than two runs in a start since for the first time since July 25 in Wednesday’s 3-0 loss to the Reds.

Cubs starting pitcher Yu Darvish was outdueled by Reds starter Trevor Bauer Wednesday night.
Cubs starting pitcher Yu Darvish was outdueled by Reds starter Trevor Bauer Wednesday night.
Kamil Krzaczynski/AP

Yu Darvish-Trevor Bauer II was bound to be eventful as two of the best starters in the National League faced off for the second time this season.

The two starters, who have become friends over the years, exchanged pleasantries via Twitter before Wednesday’s game, but once the phones were put away, they put together another intriguing battle.

While Darvish topped Bauer the first time around, Bauer got the last laugh as the Cubs suffered a 3-0 loss to the Reds.

The first inning changed the entire game for Darvish and the Cubs.

“I gave up three runs in the first inning. That makes him relax, maybe,” Darvish said of Bauer, who allowed just two hits over 7⅔ shutout innings. “I believe he’s the best pitcher on this planet, so I can’t do that in the first inning.”

Darvish has had command of his litany of pitches all season, but didn’t have that pinpoint control to start the game. After getting the first out of the game, he walked Nick Castellanos on four consecutive pitches.

He also walked the next batter, Jesse Winker, leading to an early visit from catcher Victor Caratini. The visit worked well as the Cubs’ ace struck out Eugenio Suarez for the second out.

There have been few times this season that teams have made Darvish pay for mistakes since the All-Star break last season.

That run of good fortune ran out in the first inning as Darvish left a curveball over the heart of the plate to Mike Moustakas, who deposited it 401 feet into the right-center field bleachers to give the Reds a 3-0 lead.

“That’s what I want. Slow curveball for a strike,” Darvish said. “That’s my plan for [Moustakas]. Four-seam up and curveball. That didn’t work for him today, so I changed. Went to the sinker and hard cutter after that.”

The NL Cy Young front-runner wouldn’t make another mistake in the game.

It was the first time Darvish had allowed more than two runs in a start since his first outing of the season July 25, and it happened just five batters into the game Wednesday.

But despite the disastrous 30-pitch first inning, Darvish found his Cy Young form and his electric stuff in the second inning as he struck out the side and continued to get better as the game rolled on.

“Yu settled in and gave us six strong innings,” first baseman Anthony Rizzo said. “He was good for us, we just came up short. We didn’t score for him.

“It’s kind of like a reverse of the last time those two went at it. We got a couple home runs, played good defense and gave Yu an early lead. That’s what happened today. When these big-time pitchers get the early lead, they could really settle in and that’s what we saw tonight.”

Darvish allowed just one hit to the Reds following the Moustakas homer and managed to keep the Cubs in the game while earning his eighth consecutive quality start.

He gave up three runs, two hits, struck out nine and allowed a season-high three walks in six innings. It was the first time Darvish has walked three batters in a game since June 5, 2019, against the Rockies.

“He’s been great for us,” manager David Ross said. “He just got better as the game went on. He felt really good on the back end of that sixth inning. He found his rhythm, the innings got shorter as we went along to start, just finding his groove. . . . I thought he was as good as we’ve seen him there, especially after the first inning on.”