Chicago Cubs right-hander Yu Darvish became the first Japanese pitcher to lead a major league in wins after his closest competitor in the National League dropped out of contention on Sept. 26.
Darvish collected his eighth win of the season on Sept. 25 after tossing seven shutout innings in the Cubs’ 10-0 win over the Chicago White Sox. Zach Davies of the San Diego Padres and Atlanta Braves lefty Max Fried finished the regular season with seven wins.
“It’s a short season, but coming first in something gives me confidence,” Darvish said after the game.
Darvish is 8-3 with 93 strikeouts and a 2.01 ERA over 12 games in his third season with the Cubs, who clinched their first National League Central title in three years after the second-place St. Louis Cardinals fell 3-0 to the Milwaukee Brewers on Sept. 26.
It is the first time the 34-year-old Darvish has earned the most wins in any league, including the seven seasons he spent in Japan with the Nippon Ham Fighters.
The 2020 Major League Baseball regular season, shortened to 60 games due to the coronavirus pandemic, wrapped up on Sept. 27.
Darvish won seven straight games from July 31 to Sept. 4 and was named National League Pitcher of the Month for July and August. He is currently second in the league in ERA and tied for third in strikeouts.
He is also the first Japanese pitcher to be a leading candidate for the Cy Young Award, which recognizes the MLB’s best pitchers. (Kyodo)