Welcome to the Winter of Yu.
Cubs pitcher Yu Darvish ended the season on a high note and he's carried that over to the winter as his social media game has been on fire lately.
Darvish began the week by poking fun at Anthony Rizzo, jokingly taking credit for some of Rizzo's defensive prowess as the Cubs first baseman won his third Gold Glove Award:
He also told me If I buy Louis Vuitton backpack for him I don't need to run firstbase anymore.— ダルビッシュ有(Yu Darvish) (@faridyu) November 4, 2019
That continued when Darvish won his own award Tuesday...though his wasn't quite as prestigious.
Rob Friedman, aka @PitchingNinja, tabbed Darvish with the "Award for Deadliest Pitch" in 2019 when he hit the batter, umpire and catcher Willson Contreras with the same pitch (a 99 mph fastball!) April 15 in Miami.
Darvish responded to Friedman, first with an apology and then with a pro tip:
My bad. https://t.co/swfYqpsxmG— ダルビッシュ有(Yu Darvish) (@faridyu) November 5, 2019
When your BB/9 is around 15, you’ll be able to triple kill as well. https://t.co/swfYqpsxmG— ダルビッシュ有(Yu Darvish) (@faridyu) November 5, 2019
Then came another poke at Rizzo Wednesday when Darvish posted an Instagram video mimicking Rizzo's stance and swing in a batting cage:
It even elicited a response from Rizzo himself as well as Jason Heyward:
Darvish's most impactful offseason Tweet came two weeks ago when he waited 18 months to clap back at Justin Verlander for an unathletic-looking play in the World Series:
It's all just further proof that Darvish has really come into his own in his second year with the Cubs after a trying first season. His sense of humor and passion was apparent all year and the results followed with a 2.76 ERA, 0.81 WHIP and 118 strikeouts compared to only 7 walks in 13 second-half starts.
Darvish had a chance to opt out of his contract and elect free agency this winter, but chose to remain with the team that stood by him through his struggles and showed him unconditional support.
He enters 2020 at the top of the Cubs rotation and could even earn the nod on Opening Day (which was not something many people predicted just a few months ago).
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