Professor October Dominates, Cubs' Odds Rocket Up, and Other Bullets

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Professor October Dominates, Cubs’ Odds Rocket Up, and Other Bullets

Chicago Cubs

All right, rain. Can you hold off? I’m gonna be watching today’s game at The Park at Wrigley, and since I don’t think MLB will postpone the game in Washington because of rain in Chicago (the Brewers would never allow it anyway), I’m hoping it stays dry.

Here’s the Cubs’ lineup for today’s game if you missed it – Ian Happ slides into the outfield, while Jon Jay remains a bat available off of the bench.

  • Ah, Kyle Hendricks. He just keeps doing it, and the Cubs are so #blessed to have him in the rotation. On the night, against a very potent Nationals lineup, Hendricks threw seven shutout innings, struck out six, walked three, and allowed just two hits. Moreover, Hendricks got 11 whiffs, and he was sitting at 88 to 90 mph with the fastball. That was fantastic to see. Perhaps most impressive of all, he allowed just five balls in play at 100 mph or more in exit velocity – a full three of those coming in the first inning. By contrast, he got eight balls in play under 80 mph. We’ve seen that a lot from him in this second half run: some hard contact in that first inning … and then nothing but dribblers and pop-ups. That’s the product of Hendricks frustrating batters to their very core, and them twisting themselves into pretzels making outs for him.
(Photo by Pool/Getty Images)
  • Nationals first baseman Ryan Zimmerman put it best ( “When he’s going well, that’s what he does. He mixes it up. It seems like every time you go up there with a plan he’s kind of [thinking] the other way. You’ve got to tip your hat to that guy.”
  • And if it feels, strangely, like that was something of a standard Hendricks performance in the postseason, you’re right:

  • Stephen Strasburg was legitimately excellent last night, very much the equal of Hendricks, but the Cubs’ bats are relentless, and baseball isn’t always fair. It is, however, a lot of fun:

  • Hendricks will rightly get the bulk of the focus, but cheers to Carl Edwards Jr. and Wade Davis for cleanly finishing things off. And how about Davis in the postseason:

  • As of right now, Jake Arrieta still feels good, according to Joe Maddon, and something would have to go awry between now and Game Four for him not to make that start (NBC). Of course, if the Cubs just go ahead and win the next two games, Arrieta can get even more rest before he makes his next start …
  • As for Max Scherzer and Game Three:

  • Weird thing for the Nats: their assistant hitting coach Jacque Jones (former Cub) got suspended by the team for an unspecified legal matter just before last night’s game started (ESPN).
  • Las Vegas natives Kris Bryant and Bryce Harper have teamed up in a PSA to raise funds for local services in the wake of the mass shooting.
  • Celebration safety, friends:

  • It’s not Wrigley Field yet, but it’s easily the next best thing – I got to lead the 7th Inning Stretch at Nisei last night! Thanks to verified cameraman, Michael Cerami:

  • We’re all just having a good time:

  • The Cubs won the 2016 World Series. People forget that:

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.