Cubs Quick Hits: Yu Darvish Said Goodbye to His Sinker Tuesday Night

Yu Darvish returned from the flu Darvish Tuesday night against Atlanta and appeared to be locating better than in previous starts. Perhaps that is because he didn’t throw one sinker to Braves batters, the first time all season Darvish failed to use the offering.

Before he took the mound against the Braves, the Japanese ace was throwing around 30 percent total sinkers this season (see graph below).

Of course, it’s possible that the pitch classifier is miscategorizing Darvish’s fastballs. Maybe he did throw some sinkers and the computers aren’t showing the pitches as such. But if that was true, I’d expect some of his four-seams to also have more tailing action, which wasn’t the case.

So I think we can say with confidence that Darvish did in fact avoid the sinker in his abbreviated start. That’s a trend worth monitoring because Darvish relied heavily on that pitch to start this season.


Brendan Miller

Brendan Miller is the better looking and smarter part of the Cubs Related Podcast duo with Corey Freedman. Brendan, who has twice as many Twitter followers as Corey, often writes about baseball analytics and scouting for Cubs Insider.

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  1. Hey Brendan. Hard to tell. So many graphs, so little comprehension, speaking for myself….
    Off topic, I’m unclear as to why Russell catches so much flak from fans. Same with Heyward. Both are indisputably elite defenders that struggle at the plate, Heyward a little more so. Again, speaking for myself, I don’t think their at-bats are nearly as important, and dwarfed exponentially by their Gold Glove – worthy defense. I wouldn’t want to enter the post season without them.
    Read one comment today that put a spotlight on Russell’s personal life, etc. I really don’t think we need to go there at all unless he commits a crime, and yes, I do recall Domestic Battery charges being filed. But it’s yesterday’s news. No need to drape him with it over and over.
    Sorry for the long winded post, but would like to hear your thoughts on the two.

    1. One correction is that you can’t remember any DV charges being filed because none ever were. Russell’s wife caught him cheating (which isn’t a surprise in the least because his dalliances were kind of an open secret), she put him on blast on Instagram, and an accusation from one of her friends surfaced as a response to said IG post. MLB subsequently launched an investigation that, so far as we know, went nowhere. Russell’s ex did not cooperate with MLB, though there was a press release about her hiring a big-time divorce lawyer.

      Please note that this is not meant to marginalize the claims of either Russell’s ex-wife or her friend, but is rather meant to establish the facts of the matter as we know them to be. I also want to point out that the nature and delivery of the accusation does not mean that has no veracity or that it should be brushed aside. Nor does his ex’s refusal to cooperate with MLB indicate anything about the truth of the accusations.

      In the end, all we know is what we know.

      1. Got it. Thanks for correcting me, apologies. I fixed the post. Fact checks are critical. I blew that one.

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