That Playoff Energy is Here, Hendricks' Near Milestone, Bryant's Power, and Other Bullets

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That Playoff Energy is Here, Hendricks’ Near Milestone, Bryant’s Power, and Other Bullets

Chicago Cubs

Wrigleyville is going to be buzzing today. Big Playoff Energy.

  • The playoff feeling sure started early this year, eh? Despite having the best record in the National League – still, still, still – it feels like the Cubs absolutely have to win today AND tomorrow to win the NL Central outright. It’s hard to imagine the Brewers losing to the Tigers right now, and with only a game of clearance, that means the smallest slip by the Cubs will cost them the division (or, at least, will force a Game 163 for the division). I am very tense.

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Let’s go. Let’s get crazy. Go #Cubs.

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  • As for yesterday’s win, Kyle Hendricks gave the Cubs plenty of length, despite netting just six whiffs and two strikeouts in the game. He got a ton of groundballs (59.3%), gave up very little hard contact (21.4%), and let his defense get to work behind him. It played well yesterday, and Hendricks finished the season with a 3.44 ERA over 199.0 innings. That ERA is good for 13th best in the NL, one spot behind his teammate, Jon Lester.
  • About just missing the 200 inning mark – and missing his chance because the Cubs’ bats did some good things in the 8th inning and brought his spot in the order up to the plate – Hendricks had the right attitude ( “I didn’t think I was going to get close [to 200 innings] anyway. Joe [Maddon] even told me he was aware of it, but in that situation, there’s nothing you can do. I told Joe, ‘Don’t worry about it. We have to win this game.’ It gives me something to shoot for next year.”
  • When you consider how bad Kris Bryant looked in his first at bat against Adam Wainwright yesterday – utterly helpless, and swinging feebly at a pitch in the left-handed batter’s box to strike out – it was fair to wonder if the combined effects of his wrist and shoulder issues were going to be too much to overcome this year. And then the next at bat he uncorked a 448-foot bomb to dead center. That was a very good feeling for us and for him, and it leaves open the possibility that KB is gonna KB in the coming days and weeks.
(Photo by David Banks/Getty Images)
  • This is so magnificent – it’s Tim McCarver talking about how Kolten Wong deserves a Gold Glove over, for example, Javy Baez … just seconds before Wong boots one:

  • Although they are not a useful predictive stat, we’ve long said that it’s still fun to track RBI for purposes of noting what a guy has actually done. Thus, this is fun and I hope he gets there:

  • Yeah, I really have no idea what was going on here with Daniel Murphy:

  • This is a very interesting approach by the ever forward-thinking NBA, and it’s not hard to consider the implications for other sports:

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.