Hendricks Dominating, CarGo Fitting In, Strop's Return, and Other Bullets

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Hendricks Dominating, CarGo Fitting In, Strop’s Return, and Other Bullets

Chicago Cubs

The Draft’s final day kicks off later this morning, with a rapid fire set of Rounds 11 through 40. We’ll update the picks live-ish here at BN, and we’ll also have roundups from Bryan on the Cubs’ draft.

  • Kyle Hendricks just keeps on rolling, and, although he gave up three runs last night, he really was dominant for his seven innings of work. With 10 strikeouts and just one walk, plus a whopping 21(!) whiffs, you could just see how on he was. His 22.5% strikeout rate on the year is neck-and-neck with the best of his career, and his 4.4% BB rate is solidly the best of his career. The walk rate is fifth best in baseball, too.
  • His pitch execution was just ridiculous last night, even on his curveball, which isn’t always there for him:

  • Dude is just in such a groove:

  • In addition to the pitching dominance, he also notched a ROCKET single to score a run:

(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
  • The new guy is contributing already, both on the field and in the clubhouse:

  • I mean, if you get Kyle Hendricks to drop an h-e-double-hockey-sticks, you know you’re doing something right:

  • CarGo, still making time for the young fans:

  • Great to see Pedro Strop back in action in the 9th inning for the Cubs, getting grounders and locking down the save. You may have noticed that his velocity was down about a click from where it was before his injury, which was itself down a click from last year. I am not necessarily worried about either of those clicks, the latter of which was probably just a matter of trending up as the season goes along, and the former of which was probably just about this being his first outing back with the big league team. As he gets his legs back under him more completely, my guess is the velocity comes back up over the course of the summer.
  • I kinda get the instinct here, and it was funny in the moment … but you coulda given it to a kid:

  • There were a whole lot of good boys and girls at the Iowa Cubs game:

  • Drew Smyly, traded to the Rangers as part of a financial transaction when the Cubs picked up this year’s option on Cole Hamels, has been absolutely brutal for the Rangers – a 7.93 ERA over 42.0 innings, and peripherals that mostly match. Just in case you still harbored any questions about whether the Cubs would have been better off keeping Smyly and then using that $13 million difference on a bullpen arm. Sure, the latter would have been nice (but had its own risks), but the chasm between Smyly and Hamels (3.62 ERA over 69.2 innings) would have been extremely painful.
  • Not a fan of the jewelry and the “stuff,” eh? Whatever could he mean by that:

  • You are reminded that this is a guy, Steve Blass, who previously said Javy Baez was a “difficult player for me to root for,” saying that it was because of his “flashiness.”
  • There are almost no classic unwritten rules with which I agree, but I’m not so sure I’m OK with this bunt:

  • Keep in mind, there were multiple pitchers involved, so it wasn’t just one guy’s no-hitter that got effed. Also, it was a three-run game, so the bunt put the tying run in the on-deck circle. The benches cleared as the game ended, by the way, because the Yard Goats were understandably upset.
  • Michael and Luis did their thing on TV last night, and you can watch here:


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Author: Brett Taylor

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