Show Sim: Yu Darvish on point as Cubs keep rolling
Everything the Cubs could have hoped for in the 2020 season is coming true – well, in the virtual world, that is.
As we continue our simulation of the season on MLB The Show 20, the Cubs are off to a dream start.
With the Diamondbacks rolling into Wrigley Field for Friday’s virtual game, the Cubs rode strong contributions from Yu Darvish and offseason addition Steven Souza Jr. to a 4-0 win.
One of the questions heading into the 2020 season centered around Darvish. Would he be able to continue his form from the stellar second half he had in 2019. While that question has been put on hold with the suspension of the MLB season, in the virtual world, Darvish is confirming that, yes, he will continue his strong form.
In his first start in Milwaukee, Darvish had a respectable outing – 5 innings, 3 strikeouts and 2 runs allowed in a 2-0 loss to the rival Brewers.
Friday’s simulation against the Diamondbacks was phenomenal.
Darvish pitched 8 innings of shutout ball, striking out 10 and allowing just 3 baserunners – 2 hits and a walk.
Darvish had the Diamondbacks guessing all day. Only leadoff hitter Starling Marte had any sort of success against Darvish, connecting on a pair of singles. Eduardo Escobar made the only loud contact against Darvish, flying out to the warning track in center in the 2nd.
Offensively, the Cubs looked poised to strike early. They loaded the bases with one out in the 1st inning, but Willson Contreras (.192 average) continued his early-season struggles by grounding into an inning-ending double play.
Contreras made up for it a few innings later.
With Javy Báez on second and one out in the 6th, Contreras singled to left field, giving the Cubs a 1-0 lead.
Then Souza Jr. showed off his strength. The offseason free agent addition will provide depth and a veteran right-handed option in the Cubs outfield and showed there won’t be a drop in quality with him in the lineup (at least virtually).
Making his first appearance of the season, Souza deposited a home run into the left field bleachers to extend the Cubs lead to 3-0.
In the 8th, the Contreras/Souza Jr. combination struck again. Contreras tripled and Souza Jr. singled to drive him in and add some insurance.
Alec Mills shut the door on the Diamondbacks, striking out 2 in a perfect 9th inning. Mills has been impressive out of the pen in the early going — he hasn’t allowed an earned run in 5 innings and has 4 strikeouts while allowing only 2 hits.
Here’s how the team’s lined up in the series opener:
Kris Bryant – 3B
Anthony Rizzo – 1B
Javy Báez – SS
Kyle Schwarber – LF
Willson Contreras – C
Steven Souza Jr. – RF
David Bote – 2B
Albert Almora Jr. – CF
Yu Darvish – P
Note: It was the first time the Cubs had faced a southpaw all season, so we went with a right-handed heavy lineup.
Starling Marte – CF
Nick Ahmed – SS
David Peralta – LF
Eduardo Escobar – 3B
Christian Walker – 1B
Stephen Vogt – C
Kole Calhoun – RF
Ildemaro Vargas – 2B
Robbie Ray – P
Watch Friday’s game here:
José Quintana (1-0, 4.50 ERA) takes the bump in the second game of the series Saturday against Luke Weaver (0-0, 2.25 ERA). The action kicks off at 1 p.m. on @WatchMarquee on Facebook.