Yu Darvish blew a 98 mph fastball by Yasiel Puig, pumped his fist emphatically and let out a primal yell as he walked off the mound while 37,260 fans at Wrigley Field backed him up with maybe the loudest "YUUUU!!!" chant of the season.
tattoo this on our forehead pic.twitter.com/dq6C0c0EYY— Cubs Talk (@NBCSCubs) July 17, 2019
It was the final pitch he threw on the afternoon as he completely dismantled the Reds lineup in a 4-2 Cubs victory.
"How 'bout it? Good for him," Joe Maddon said. "Yu just keeps trending in the right direction. That last out, he pretty much — as they say — emptied the tank and it worked out pretty well.
"The people yelling for him coming off the field was awesome and I know he feels that in a positive way and he deserves it."
Since the All-Star Break, Darvish leads Major League Baseball in ERA — he hasn't allowed a run in 12 innings while striking out 15 and giving up only 4 hits and a walk.
Oh yeah, and he finally picked up his first Wrigley Field win in a Cubs uniform...in his 14th start at the Friendly Confines (28 starts overall).
"It's amazing," Darvish said. "First win at Wrigley — I was always looking for that first win."
In both outings to start the second half, he took a no-hitter into the fifth inning and they're also the only two scoreless starts he has as a member of the Cubs (he gave up 0 earned run April 27 last year against the Brewers, but was charged with an unearned run).
The last time Darvish went back-to-back outings with at least 6 scoreless innings was April 2014, his final season before Tommy John surgery.
The Cubs are now 5-1 since the All-Star Break on the heels of their starting rotation, which has churned out a quality start in each of the six second-half games.