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Double leg pump no longer part of Yu's delivery

Right-hander working with pitching coach to simplify motion; Cubs using Wrigley wind to advantage
MLB.com @CarrieMuskat

CHICAGO -- Have you noticed that Yu Darvish hasn't incorporated the double leg pump in his delivery in his past two starts? That's by design, Cubs pitching coach Jim Hickey said.

"I don't know what purpose that it served," Hickey said on Sunday. "In my opinion, less is a little bit more. If you can simplify it -- and do simple better, as [manager] Joe [Maddon] would say -- I think you'd be more effective. He did kind of abandon that, and it's gone pretty well for him. That's how he pitched basically last year as well, without the double leg pump."

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CHICAGO -- Have you noticed that Yu Darvish hasn't incorporated the double leg pump in his delivery in his past two starts? That's by design, Cubs pitching coach Jim Hickey said.

"I don't know what purpose that it served," Hickey said on Sunday. "In my opinion, less is a little bit more. If you can simplify it -- and do simple better, as [manager] Joe [Maddon] would say -- I think you'd be more effective. He did kind of abandon that, and it's gone pretty well for him. That's how he pitched basically last year as well, without the double leg pump."

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Hickey said it was a group effort in the discussion with Darvish about altering his style. It was effective in his last outing, when he threw six innings against the Brewers, giving up one unearned run. The right-hander has pitched without that extra hesitation in the past, so it wasn't a huge adjustment, Hickey said.

"I don't think it's much of a transition at all," Hickey said. "It's probably a transition to easier, I think. [The double leg pump] just kind of raised the degree of difficulty in repeating.

"From watching on the side, you would think it was a little more tiring, if you will, than doing a conventional delivery," Hickey said. "Let's say you threw 65 pitches out of the windup, it would seem like it would be a little more fatiguing. It's simple stuff, nothing groundbreaking. Less is more."

Video: MIL@CHC: Cubs benefit from the sun and wind in win

Around the horn

• The wind has blown in at Wrigley Field in nine of the Cubs' 11 home games so far, and the Cubs are outscoring opponents, 51-39, in those nine.

"It speaks to the whole-field approach," Maddon said. "I stand by that. We're playing an entire game of baseball right now. I don't think I've seen anybody go up there with a heavy pull-mode [approach]."

When the wind shifts to the south or southwest and is blowing out, there are usually more home runs and runs. So far, the Cubs have hit eight in the eight home games.

"We're going to hit a lot of home runs this year," Maddon said. "If you work your at-bats, accept your walks, move the ball to the opposite side, you can string some things together and then you can get in a guy's head a little bit. I think that's our separator. We are going back to an older method [of using the whole field], which I think should be a contemporary method all the time."

Video: MIL@CHC: Kris Bryant discusses returning to lineup

• On Monday, the Cubs face the Rockies, and Maddon was asked if he expected any repercussions after their last series when third baseman Kris Bryant was hit in the head by a pitch by Colorado's German Marquez. Marquez is not pitching in this series.

"I don't think anything was intentional," Maddon said. "The weather's been tough, the ball's been slick. It was unfortunate. Stuff happens."

Bryant returned to the Cubs lineup on Saturday after missing four games.

Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat.

Chicago Cubs, Yu Darvish