Yu Darvish’s time with the Chicago Cubs may be in the past, but it’s clear the pitcher has fond memories of his three seasons with the ball club, especially the strong relationship he forged with Anthony Rizzo.
Darvish was dealt to the Padres this past offseason, and the Cubs were at Petco Park this week for a three-game series. Wednesday’s game marked Darvish’s first start against his former team.
Last season’s National League Cy Young Award runner-up used Rizzo’s patented walk-up music during his at-bat in the bottom of the third inning in tribute to his former teammate. The song “Intoxicated” by Martin Solveig & GTA is what the Cubs first baseman uses ahead of his at-bats at Wrigley Field.
The wide smile from Darvish as he approached the plate really says it all.
Rizzo threw his arms up in mock disgust as his walk-up song was jokingly used by Darvish.
After the Padres’ 3-1 loss to the Cubs — in which Darvish went seven innings and yielded three hits and two earned runs with eight strikeouts and two walks — the pitcher opened up about why he chose to troll-tribute Rizzo.
Specifically, Darvish explained how Rizzo was a valuable resource and a strong supporter, especially when his career with the Cubs got off to inauspicious start after signing a six-year, $126 million contract in February 2018.
"It was Rizzo that kind of took care of me when things weren't really working my way in Chicago. It was, in a way, to say thank you to him."#Padres' Darvish on start vs. #Cubs, using @ARizzo44's walkup music, how he looks back on time in CHI & more:https://t.co/aQgGOsjfOB— Annie Heilbrunn (@annieheilbrunn) June 10, 2021
“I used that song because it was Rizzo who kind of took care of me when things weren’t really working my way in Chicago,” Darvish said through his interpreter, via ESPN. “It was, in a way, to say ‘thank you’ to him. And obviously I have a good relationship with him.”
Darvish went on to reflect upon his time with the Cubs, during which he posted a 15-14 record with a 3.60 ERA.
“Looking back, I had some ups and downs in Chicago,” Darvish said. “Good times and bad times, looking in retrospect. But what I find is that the fans, the organization, and even the media members there — I had tremendous amount of support to get through my years there. So there’s a sense of, I guess, gratefulness there.”
As far as Rizzo is concerned when it came to Darvish’s prank, the Padres pitcher said it’s all good, to no surprise.
“We actually texted each other after the game, and I think he was pretty happy about it,” Darvish said, per NBC Chicago.