The Wife is in the process of planning a family trip to Disney World this Fall with the kiddos, and she was feverishly updating me on the details this morning. I’m definitely excited to see the experience through the kids’ eyes – they’re going to go nuts – and it’s going to mean a week almost entirely off from this place. I’ve only once before taken a “vacation” from BN since I’ve been doing it full-time (mid-2011), but even then I still did an aggressively large set of Bullets each morning. I’m thinking this time I’ll take the week entirely off (it’s the November week before Thanksgiving, which can be a rumor-heavy time … eek), and I’ll probably have to butter up Michael, Luis, and Luke to cover for me. I guess this post is the start of that process.
- Heavy praise for Kyle Hendricks from his manager, Joe Maddon, who says he never even thought about taking Hendricks out in the 9th (Cubs.com). Hendricks reached 108 pitches in the nine-inning shutout, which is just fine. There were some hard hit balls, sure, but last night was as good as Hendricks gets: a good amount of strikeouts, even if not a ton; lots of groundballs; no homers; no walks. That’s the kind of start where those Brandon Webb comparisons come from. Assuming he’s got his command in a given start, good things can happen for Hendricks – like a hitter putting a ball in play, good things happen for a pitcher when you don’t give up free passes and you get lots of groundballs. It won’t make him a front-of-the-rotation guy, but it’ll make him someone you’re thrilled to have at the back of the rotation over the course of a season.
- Hendricks also confirmed what we talked about yesterday with respect to his (and Travis Wood’s and Tsuyoshi Wada’s) starts: if there are any signs of trouble by the time a pitcher is going the third time through the order, Maddon will get the bullpen up and in quickly. Here’s the quote from Hendricks in a larger piece on his performance at ESPN: “There were a couple batters where I know I got a couple pitches up for a minute. I knew he (Maddon) was watching that but once a guy starts getting [the ball] up late in the game he’s going to get someone up in the bullpen. I know I had to recollect myself and get the ball down.”
- If you missed Hendricks’ outing, check out the highlights here. That changeup – which Hendricks can allow to fade to the arm side or cut to the glove side – is something:
- Scott Boras was at the game yesterday in San Diego, and, among the things he discussed: how great the Cubs have been for the development of his young players like Kris Bryant and Addison Russell (CSN). Must have been that extra seasoning Bryant got at AAA Iowa this year ….
- The Cubs might set a record for strikeouts this year.
- Joe Maddon and Jeff Garlin joking around (Carrie Muskat).
- While a team’s record after 40 games doesn’t guarantee anything, it’s a pretty decent predictor of how the rest of the season is going to go (THT).
- Ryan Davis at FanRag Sports asked me to pass along a fundraiser they’re doing involving Kerry Wood’s Battle of the Bats.