Yu Darvish shows range in debut for Cubs, clocks 95 on fastball

MESA, Ariz. -- After throwing two innings against his former team on Tuesday, Chicago Cubs right-handerYu Darvish was pleased with his velocity. He clocked 95 mph on several fastballs as he struck out four and walked two while giving up one run.

"Because I lost some weight in the offseason, I was worried about my velocity, but it was right up there," Darvish said through his interpreter after his spring debut. "I'm glad it's 95 mph."

Darvish varied his speeds against the Los Angeles Dodgers from 95 mph all the way down to 73 mph as he said he used four pitches in his first game since the World Series last fall: fastballs, curves, sliders and changeups. Both his walks came in the first inning, as did two wild pitches -- though in between he struck out the side. He retired the Dodgers in order in his second inning of work.

"It's the first time [this spring] facing batters in the stadium, so I was a little scared, but that's how I feel every season," Darvish said.

Darvish said he wanted to make sure he didn't hit any of his former teammates, while Cubs closer Brandon Morrow also indicated he backed off a little in his first appearance this spring. Both he and Darvish pitched in Game 7 of the World Series for Los Angeles last season. On Tuesday, Morrow threw an inning, giving up two hits.

"Did everything I wanted to do," Morrow said afterward. "I was 95/98 mph without really trying to step on the gas. That's a good sign."

Cubs infielder/outfielder Ben Zobrist also made his spring debut after dealing with a back issue in camp. He went 0-for-3. But it was Darvish who got the most attention.

The Cubs signed him to a six-year, $126 million deal after he struggled in the World Series. Questions about tipping pitches in Game 7 followed him throughout the offseason, and considering the opponent on Tuesday, it came up again. He was asked if it was something he was working on.

"As we get closer to the season opening, I'll think about that," Darvish said.

He maintains whether he was tipping or not, he didn't execute and got beat by a good team.

Darvish was then asked why he lost all that weight during the winter.

"Because of what happened in the World Series," he responded.

He's slated to pitch for the Cubs in Game 3 opening week, against the Marlins.

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