The Leadoff Distraction, Hendricks' Good Start, Farrell's Rise, and Other Bullets

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The Leadoff Distraction, Hendricks’ Good Start, Farrell’s Rise, and Other Bullets

Chicago Cubs

I get to run on an anti-gravity treadmill this week as part of my foot surgery rehab, though it’s not quite as cool as it sounds – it’s basically a bunch of air blowing into a pair of MC Hammer pants that reduces how much of your weight you’re supporting. Still, I like to imagine that’s what it’s like to run on Mars. Basically, I have run on Mars. Essentially, I have been to Mars. For the most part, I’m an astronaut.

  • Anthony Rizzo as a proxy for a 20-foot python:

  • Well, it may very well have picked the boys up, but it didn’t produce any offense. After the first pitch of the game, the Cubs did not score. It was still fun, but I think it’s time to bring in the python now.
  • Although he did his Greatest Leadoff Hitter of All-Time thing again last night, I’d expect Rizzo to be back down in the order today, with a traditional split lefty on the mound and Albert Almora and Javy Baez due back in the lineup.
(Photo by David Banks/Getty Images)
  • Kyle Hendricks seemed, at times, visually frustrated with the calls behind the plate, which is unusual for him. He and Joe Maddon suggested after the game that, indeed, they were feeling like he got squeezed early (Tribune). The strike zone map, for what it’s worth, does not agree – looks like a pretty clean, well-called zone overall.
  • As for the start, it looked like Hendricks had it working, and he agreed ( “It was a bad pitch to Blackmon – I didn’t want to walk him – and the wrong pitch to Dahl but not a bad one. Overall, I felt really good about [the outing]. The fastball command was good. I got quick outs, went deep into the game. I’ve got to take the positives from that one.” Home runs are always bad, sure, but when a couple of them are wind-aided, and there is otherwise just one hit and two walks over 7.2 innings, that’s a good outing. It held his ERA steady at 3.19, and his 5.32 FIP is eventually going to fall when his absurdly high 23.5% HR/FB rate comes down naturally.
  • It sounds like there’s no decision yet on Eddie Butler’s return (ESPN). He’s been out for a while with a groin strain, but is eligible to come off the disabled list at any time. If the Cubs want to keep Luke Farrell around for now, though, it’s possible Butler will eventually head out on a rehab stint before he comes back.
  • Speaking of Farrell and the great spin on his four-seamer:

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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.