This is it. Until the playoffs, that is.
The Chicago Cubs look to finish the regular season in positive fashion in Cincinnati and will do so with Kyle Hendricks on the mound.
Hendricks enters Sunday with a MLB-best 1.99 ERA and has his eyes set on becoming the Cubs’ first ERA title winner since Ray Prim owned a National League-leading 2.40 ERA in 1945.
For what it’s worth, Prim tossed 165.1 innings in 34 games (19 starts) while owning the league’s best WHIP (0.998), H/9 rate (7.7) K/BB rate (3.83) and BB/9 rate (1.3). His 153 ERA+ was also at the top of the leaderboard.
If Hendricks can keep his pitching line clean, he’ll enter the record books in style.
The lineup behind him features the regulars to go along with the added bonus of Jorge Soler’s return. Willson Contreras catches Hendricks for the 12th time this season. Only Miguel Montero has been behind the plate for more of Hendricks’ games. Batters own a .193/.252/.311/.563 slash line in 258 PA against Hendricks when Contreras is catching.
Hendricks’ 1.09 ERA in 66.1 innings pitching to Contreras qualifies as solid, too.
Chicago Cubs (102-58) at Cincinnati Reds (68-93) – 2:10 CT on WGN, 670 The Score
Game Thread and Series Preview
Your game thread is down in the comments, so let’s have some good, clean (safe-for-work) fun this afternoon and into the early evening as we close out the regular season on a positive note.
Cubs: Kyle Hendricks (R): 1.99 ERA, 3.21 FIP, 3.56 xFIP; 3.86 K/BB
Reds: Robert Stephenson (R): 6.27 ERA, 6.69 FIP, 5.37 xFIP; 1.93 K/BB
Cincinnati Reds Lineup:
- Jose Peraza, SS
- Ivan De Jesus Jr., 2B
- Joey Votto, 1B
- Adam Duvall, LF
- Scott Schebler, CF
- Eugenio Suraez, 3B
- Tucker Barnhart, C
- Tony Renda, RF
- Robert Stephenson, P
Chicago Cubs Lineup:
- Dexter Fowler, CF
- Kris Bryant, 3B
- Anthony Rizzo, 1B
- Ben Zobrist, 2B
- Addison Russell, SS
- Jason Heyward, RF
- Jorge Soler, RF
- Willson Contreras, C
- Kyle Hendricks, P