Yu Darvish was named NL Pitcher of the Month for August, Major League baseball announced Wednesday. In a two-month season, that’s almost equivalent to leading the pack at the halfway point in the NL Cy Young race.
The difference, of course, is that it discounts the first week of the season, during which Darvish still allowed just three earned runs in two starts combined. But in the month of August, the right-hander has been absolutely dominant.
In five starts, Darvish went 5-0 with a 1.09 ERA. He’s struck out 40 and walked just seven in that span. To punctuate the month, Darvish faced off with Reds ace Trevor Bauer last week. Of the two early NL Cy Young candidates, Darvish had the better night, throwing six scoreless innings and striking out eight.
"When you've got a guy pitching well over multiple weeks," Cubs manager David Ross said, "the day they start, you just really feel comfortable in that guy that you feel like is your stopper. ... Yu's been that guy that has been carrying that No. 1 spot for this organization since last year and continues to get more and more comfortable with who he is and what he wants to do."
Darvish was competing against Reds right-hander Sonny Gray (5-1, 1.94 ERA), Braves lefty Max Fried (6-0, 1.60) and Mets right-hander Jacob deGrom (2-1, 1.76), who all received votes for NL Pitcher of the Month.
In the American League, Cleveland right-hander Shane Bieber also received the honor, with a 4-0 record and 1.63 ERA in August.