The Cubs offense was shut down by Yu Darvish in an unhappy reunion

For the Cubs, Saturday was not a happy reunion with Yu Darvish.

Darvish was just as dominant against his former team in the Cubs' 6-0 loss to the Padres. He limited the Cubs to two infield hits in seven innings. He threw 115 shots, his most in a single game since 2017.

“I think it was the fastest ball I've ever seen him throw,” said manager David Ross. “So kudos to him. Cast a lot of two stitches, locking the left with the front hip. I mean, he does it all day. Those guys couldn't even pull the trigger with two strikes.

“Getting him to work early, and then it's like he just locked me out, and that's not his MO.”

Darvish is known for his vast arsenal. But 34% of the shots he threw on Saturday were ballast, compared to his season average of 10.6% entering play, according to Statcast. He made 16 strikes called on the field.

“I think it just knocked us off balance,” Miles Mastrobuoni said of Darvish's effectiveness against the Cubs' heavy left-handers.

Mastrobuoni was the first batsman to hit from Darvish, a ground ball that was deflected by Darvish in the third inning.

Against Mastrobuoni, Darvish mostly threw sliders. And he threw three straight hits to a left-handed leadoff batter in his second.

“I was looking for a fastball at the start of that streak,” said Mastrobuoni. “And after he threw two straights (sliders), I was still on the fastball but I could see the slider up and was able to get a lucky bounce.”

The Cubs weren't airborne in fair territory until the fifth inning. And with Padres second baseman Ha-Seong Kim showing off his reach, very few on the field were effective.

Dansby Swanson recorded the Cubs' only other hit against Darvish, beating a groundball single to third.

“Darvish is a great pitcher,” said Cubs starter Drew Smyly, who allowed three runs in 5 ⅔ innings. “He has been doing it for a long time. Cubs fans know. And he's performing tonight. He had a very good game. So any time you face a pitcher like that, you know you have to be pretty sharp. And we can do nothing.”

Smyly was right, Cubs fans know. They watched him post a 3.60 ERA in three seasons in Chicago. And then before the 2021 season, they watched as their club traded him and catcher Victor Caratini to the Padres for four prospects – including outfielder Owen Caissie, who is now the No. 1 prospect. 12 organizations, according to – and Zach Davies' right-hand man.