Cubs

Quick takes: Darvish settles in, but Cubs' bats quiet again

Cubs
USA TODAY

Cubs starter Yu Darvish settled down after a laborious first inning on Sunday against the Twins.

But one big swing ended his night, and the Twins kept the Cubs offense quiet to win the North Siders’ final home game of the season.

Darvish kept the Cubs in the game after a long first inning. And although the offense had a few chances (0-for-6 with RISP), they didn’t capitalize in a 4-0 Minnesota win. The Cubs scored twice all weekend.

Some quick takes from the game.

Streak snapped

For the first time since his season debut, back on July 25, Darvish didn’t throw a quality start, snapping a nine-start streak.

The right-hander’s night got off to an unfavorable start. The Twins took a 1-0 lead in the first inning on three singles and a walk, loading the bases loaded with one out. Darvish worked out of the jam with two strikeouts but threw 30 pitches in the frame. 

Darvish was up to 47 through two innings, making it reasonable to wonder how deep he’d be able to pitch. But the Cubs ace bounced back, retiring 13 of 15 from the last out of the first until the sixth inning. He was efficient in innings 3-5, throwing nine, 11 and eight pitches. 

Darvish’s night ended after allowing a double and homer to open the seventh, a tough finish after how he settled in. His final line doesn’t reflect it — six innings, nine hits, four earned runs, one walk and nine strikeouts — but he was sharp much of the night.

 

History

With Sunday marking the Cubs final home game this season, their offense officially made the wrong kind of history.

The Cubs went 4-for-32 on Sunday, finishing the season 212-for-1,003 (.211) offensively at home. That’s their lowest batting average at Wrigley Field in team history. The 2015 team (.237) previously held the mark.

Of course, the circumstances this season are extremely difficult and the sample size is small, affecting the history books.

Schwarber exits

Cameron Maybin replaced Kyle Schwarber in left field in the third inning. Manager David Ross joined the ESPN broadcast for an interview in the bottom of the inning and was asked if there was a health update to pass along on Schwarber.

“No, he’s fine,” Ross said.

On Deck

The Cubs and Pirates kick-off a four-game set in Pittsburgh on Monday. Jon Lester (2-2, 4.91 ERA) and JT Brubaker (1-2, 4.79 ERA) are the probable starters.

The Cubs' magic number to clinch a postseason berth remains three games.

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