Yu Darvish tried something different in his fourth start of the season. Maybe it was just because he was in Colorado, but the new Cubs pitcher decided to throw a fleury of cutters. Nearly five seasons have passed since Darvish relied on his cutter so heavily in one outing.
Rockies batters saw 40 cutters from Darvish last night in 94 pitches (43 percent of total pitches). As a reference, Darvish only threw 20 total cutters before taking the mound in the airport that is Coors Field, and only 15 percent of Darvish’s total pitches have been cutters throughout his career. You’ll have to flip back the calendar to April 2, 2013 to find the last time Darvish threw over 40 percent cutters in one outing.
Darvish usually throws around 30 percent sliders per game, but only showed the breaking pitch nine percent of the time against Colorado. So, I’m thinking that the wacky Coors environment prompted the Japenese righty to rely on his the faster version of a slider that is a cutter. Nevertheless, the sudden spike in cutter usage is still something that I think is interesting and worth monitoring next time he takes the mound.