Kyle Hendricks' Vanishing ERA and Other Bullets

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Kyle Hendricks’ Vanishing ERA and Other Bullets

Chicago Cubs

kyle hendricks cubs featureWe are now under one week from the due date for Taylor Kiddo Number Three. It has been well over three years since we’ve had a little baby in the house, and, although I’m sure so much of it will come back to me quickly, I’m currently in the mode where I’m like, “I DON’T REMEMBER HOW TO DO ANYTHING!”

Even still, I’m extremely excited. I had lunch yesterday with some friends, together with their 1-ish-year-old, and I definitely got the feels.

  • Kyle Hendricks, who was once again very good following a long, extra-inning game, dropped his league-leading ERA to 2.07, which is nearly a half-run better than second best (Madison Bumgarner, 2.51 (/s good job not blowing him up this weekend to help your teammate out, Cubs /s)). By WAR, Hendricks is 7th in the NL, by FIP he’s 8th, and by xFIP he’s 11th. One thing to note when it comes to Hendricks’ Cy Young candidacy: although it may be some folks’ impression that he’s such a short-outing starter that he’s way down on the innings pitched list (which means he’d be less valuable than a similar pitcher who’s done it over more innings), that’s not true. Hendricks is currently 10th in the NL in innings pitched, and he’s done it in two or three fewer starts than the pitchers ahead of him on the list.
  • For fun, I went back to check Jake Arrieta’s historic ERA over his final 20 starts (beginning June 21) in 2015: 0.86. Kyle Hendricks’ ERA since his start around that same time this year (June 24): 1.27. Good gravy Arrieta’s 2015 season was completely mad.
  • I really enjoyed reading at CSN about Carl Edwards Jr.’s breakout in the big leagues this year in the context of the mental side of the game. You just don’t see guys go from being a 30ish% K rate/15ish% BB rate guy at AAA to immediately – like, right on call-up – being a 35ish%/10ish% guy in the big leagues. I’m not going to say the tools he’s picked up on the mental side, combined with the adrenaline/focus bump of being in The Show, are entirely the reason for his breakout, but I’m sure it really has played a role. You just so rarely see a clear dividing line like this (unless it’s a fluke that can be explained away when you dig deeper (this one cannot)).
  • You already know it, but now we get to read a whole write-up on it: Javy Baez has the quickest tag in the game. It’s not only fun to watch, but it helps the Cubs in the running game, where they’ve otherwise struggled to cut down runners this year.
  • Mike Montgomery will remain the Cubs’ sixth starter through another turn in the rotation, beyond tomorrow’s start in Milwaukee (
  • This is a fun idea: if you were building an automatic auto-changer, tuning you in to moments you’d want to see automatically, what would your top 50 “triggers” be? Outside of Cubs stuff, things that pop into my head include Jose Fernandez or Clayton Kershaw pitching, Miguel Cabrera or Mike Trout batting, a position player pitching, or anyone approaching a record of any kind.
  • A’s bullpenners are no Cubs bullpenners.
  • In case you missed it in the Minor League Daily, this is cool, as a Cub takes the honor for a second straight year (Willson Contreras in 2015):

  • Miguel Montero gets razzed quite a bit for his lack of speed, and he’s got some thoughts on the matter:

  • This is adorable, and probably a little surreal:

Author: Brett Taylor

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