Flu Darvish, Ill Schwarber, Frailer Chatwood Play Under Weather at Sunny Wrigley

Chicago sports fans are no strangers to sports figures pushing through sickness to put up masterful performances. And while Yu Darvish’s name will never be spoken in the same breath as Michael Jordan’s, it was revealed after his Sunday start that Darvish was a bit under the weather.

It was so bad, in fact, that he was unavailable to the media after going five innings to earn a rare win. He wasn’t the only one running at less than 100%, as Joe Maddon admitted that Kyle Schwarber and Tyler Chatwood had a touch of something. Maybe they contracted it from Jon Lester, who asked out of his start last Saturday after five innings in a situation most fans erroneously blamed on Maddon’s quick hook.

If there really is a bug going around the clubhouse, it sure as heck didn’t stop any of those guys from playing some good baseball to finish off a sweep of the Brewers. Darvish continued his elite performance in the second half with eight strikeouts and no walks, the sixth straight game in which a Cubs starter issued no free passes. That’s the first time such a streak has occurred for them since at least 1905.

Much of Darvish’s elite run over the past month can be attributed to his absurdly phenomenal strikeout-to-walk ratio. In six starts since July 3 (35.2 IP), the righty has recorded 44 strikeouts (11.1 K/9) to just two walks (0.50 BB/9) and has allowed only 11 runs in that time (2.78 ERA). That’s quite a change from the first few weeks of the season.

Schwarber chipped in with two hits, a walk, and an HBP for good measure. Oh, and he also hit another bomb just under the scoreboard in right. If he’s sick, I want some of that, because he’s basically broken the Brewers in the last four games. Dating back to “Kyle Schwarber Day” at Miller Park, the slugger is 6-for-7 with three home runs, four walks, and eight RBI in his last 12 plate appearances against the Brew Crew.

Chatwood may have made a trip to the pharmaceutical aisle at Da Jewels after throwing three innings for the unconventional save. The little-used reliever struck out five and walked none as he continues to show his value after a debut season in which he frequently made fans feel sick.

Not to wish anyone else ill, literally, but maybe these guys could cough on a few more of their teammates before the clubhouse attendants break out the Lysol and clean this stuff up. Better yet, maybe they can take a few cultures and send them ahead to Cincinnati, Philadelphia, and Pittsburgh to help the embarrassing road performance no one seems to be able to explain.

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