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The Cubs Basically Have Baseball’s ERA Leader and Other Bullets

Chicago Cubs News

kyle hendricks chicago cubsI raced some go karts this weekend at a big track (apparently, as far as go karting goes, this was fairly serious go karting), and it was awesome. Going 55mph doesn’t seem or look that fast, but when you’re on the ground taking sharp turns trying to whip around people (I’m competitive), it’s freaking exhilarating.

It also beats the heck out of your body. Two days later, I have blisters and bruises all over, and I generally feel like I got the crap kicked out of me. But still, it was a ton of fun. Worth it.

  • After 7.1 innings of one-run ball, Kyle Hendricks is now THE ERA LEADER IN MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL at 2.17. Technically, Clayton Kershaw is still quite a bit ahead of Hendricks, but he’s getting ready to lose eligibility for the leaderboard, having not pitched since June. There is a non-zero chance that Hendricks gets his ERA under 2.00 before it’s all said and done, which is utterly mindbogglingly awesome. It still seems likely that a clunker or two the rest of the way will prevent – not because of anything Hendricks-specific, but instead simply because baseball is really hard – but it’s going to be fun to follow, not unlike it was fun to follow Jake Arrieta’s vanishing ERA late last year.
  • Speaking of Arrieta, by the way: in his four post-All-Star-break starts, he’s posted a 2.25 ERA and a 2.88 FIP. His much-discussed walk rate is a beautifully low 6.6% in those starts.

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  • And back to speaking of Hendricks, I very much enjoyed this Q&A with him at ESPN.
  • Tommy Birch has been reporting on Tommy La Stella’s absence from AAA Iowa as well as anyone could, given the attending mystery, and the latest word comes from manager Marty Pevey, who would say only that as far as he’s aware, La Stella had some family business to attend to in New Jersey. Your best guess at this point is that La Stella may not reappear until he comes back to the big league team, or if he needs a couple games there as a kind of rehab/refresher stint before returning to the big league team. It’s all just an odd situation, and it remains best to reserve any kind of conclusions until/unless we have more information.
  • Joe Maddon sees closer upside in Carl Edwards Jr. in the future (Tribune), and how could you not? After dominating minor league hitters with a brilliant fastball and killer curveball, all Edwards has done since coming to the big leagues this year is keep the brilliant fastball and killer curveball while also improving his location dramatically.
  • As the Cubs noted on Twitter, Dexter Fowler has now scored a run in each of his last nine games, matching his career best. That’s neat.

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  • Well, now we know what’s kept righty Ryan Williams out for the past couple months at AAA, which is such a huge bummer after his big breakout in 2015:

  • Alex Rodriguez announced yesterday at a tearful press conference that his last game with the Yankees will be on Friday, at which point he’ll transition into an advisor role with the team through next season (his contract runs through next year). There will be a lot of takes about his career and his PED use, which is all fair. He was so crazy good, though, for an incredibly long time. The degree to which that is tainted is, as always, the debate.

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  • Meanwhile, another MLB legend just reached 3,000 hits – Ichiro did it with a standup triple in Colorado, capping an incredible career.
  • Miguel Sano hit the roof – not the catwalk, THE ROOF – at Tropicana Field yesterday, which is nuts. It makes me wonder which Cubs hitter would be most likely to pull off the feat given enough tries. It would have to be someone with crazy power and bat speed, and the ability to loft one straight up. I’m thinking Kris Bryant or Javy Baez. I’d probably bet on Baez.
  • If you need ’em for back-to-school or just at home craft projects with your kids (or yourself – hey, I ain’t judgin’), Crayola stuff is on sale today at Amazon.
  • I just want to give a shout to BN’er Mark who has been offering folks a whole lot of fun after every Cubs win with a dedicated comment under the Enhanced Box Score post for the number of each Cubs win. He does a really nice job with these.

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  • If you missed Luke’s Minor League Daily (and quiz), check it out. Also, missed the weekend? Catch yourself up here.

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Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation.