CHICAGO -- When Yu Darvish signed a $126 million contract to join the Cubs in the offseason, he was viewed as a free agent prize.
But as Darvish prepares to make his fifth start of the season Friday against the Milwaukee Brewers, the 31-year-old right-hander has yet to deliver. Not only has he yet to win his first game for the Cubs, but he has been hit hard, has allowed at least four earned runs and has failed to get out of the fifth inning in three of his four starts.
Darvish (0-2, 6.86 ERA) faces some of the big-contract pressure that teammates Jon Lester and Jason Heyward have in the past. And while manager Joe Maddon sees some legitimacy in the notion of the pressure to live up to expectations while in a new city, he remains convinced Darvish's struggles are temporary.