Cubs Have Dominated Cardinals Series, Hendricks Absurd, Russell Back, and Other Bullets

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Cubs Have Dominated Cardinals Series, Hendricks Absurd, Russell Back, and Other Bullets

Chicago Cubs

Ah, a wonderful annual tradition: the family is headed to the apple orchard to pick some apples! The best part is picking up the partially rotted ones that have fallen to the ground, tossing them up in the air, and watching them explode at The Wife’s feet like a gross, wet grenade.

  • The Cubs basically dominate the Cardinals now:

  • I knew it had been a good run since mid-July 2015 (it was a big conversation piece that year, especially after the Cubs won the NLDS), but I didn’t realize it had been THAT dominant for two and a half years now. I joke but not joke: when is this going to be a rivalry again?
  • We’ll have to hit Kyle Hendricks’ start much harder soon, but the super short weekend Bullets version is: duuuuuuuuude.
  • OK, I can say a little more than that: despite the tiniest strike zone of the year, Hendricks kept the Cardinals off balance, and gave up just two batted balls over 100 mph. I mean look at this guy:

  • Hendricks was sitting at 87 mph, touching 89 mph, and commanding his pitches. That is a guy who can dominate. And he did. Remember how he started this season, and then how he got injured? Despite that, Hendricks’ 3.22 ERA is now 19th best in all of baseball among pitchers with at least 120 innings, and 26 points better than his teammate, Jake Arrieta.
  • Speaking of Arrieta, he threw his much-anticipated bullpen session yesterday and reportedly felt great (ESPN). The Cubs haven’t announced it yet, but you can tentatively pencil him in for a return to the rotation the next time through.
  • Oh, one quick one back on Hendricks: he also picked off his league-leading 7th baserunner in the game. Stop being idiots, baserunners. (Actually … don’t stop.)
  • Wade Davis is now 30 for 30 in save opportunities for the Cubs. Not totally unlike the pitcher win, the save stat is nearly useless for predictive purposes, but it at least tells a much narrower story about what actually happened than the win stat. And, in this case, it tells a pretty useful story: the Cubs got Wade Davis to close out games for them, and so far, he has literally not failed in that duty even once.
  • The final out of the save yesterday was a liner to shortstop, caught by … Addison Russell. After his dramatic return to the Cubs from the disabled list with a pinch hit homer in the 8th, Russell stayed in the game to play shortstop, with Javy Baez shifting over to second base. It was not only an opportunity to get Russell minimal work out there and test his foot (there are no rehab assignments available anymore), but it was also a legitimate nod to putting the best defensive infield out there to lock down a close game. It’ll be interesting to see when Russell gets his first start, because I am sure the Cubs would love to be in a position to feel confident about his health by the time the playoffs roll around, so they can just start him every day at shortstop at that point, and have Javy Baez available to play second base. [UPDATE as I’m typing: Russell is starting at shortstop today. Which is freaking awesome. My guess is he plays about five or six innings today.]
(Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images)
  • Oh my good God, buddy, you have made a terrible mistake:

  • This is a whole lot of fun to watch:

  • Cubs have the O:

  • Very reasonable prices today at StubHub:


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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.