Big Night for the Cubs, Wisdom, Hendricks, Higgins, and Other Cubs Bullets

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Big Night for the Cubs, Wisdom, Hendricks, Higgins, and Other Cubs Bullets

Chicago Cubs

‘Better Call Saul’ comes back THIS month. In 10 days actually. I am quite eager. That is all.

  • What a night that was, eh? You had the Cubs scoring 15, Kyle Hendricks throwing another quality start, Christopher Morel going 5-5, P.J. Higgins homering as part of a three-hit night, Patrick Wisdom homering twice including a grand slam, Narciso Crook notching two hits in his big league debut, Nico Hoerner staying blistering hot, David Bote getting hurt (OK, that one is bad), and the Cubs notching a season-high-tying total of 23 hits.
  • In addition to everything else, you could call last night’s game The Exit Velocity Game. There were a ridiculous TWENTY-NIGHT batted balls over 95 mph last night, including 17 over 100 mph. Of those 17, 12 were by the Cubs.
  • At 108.5 mph and 108.3 mph, Patrick Wisdom had the two hardest hits of the night for the Cubs with his two homers.
  • On the season, Wisdom is now up to 16 homers (18th in baseball), with a .232/.315/.475/117 wRC+ slash line. He’s doing it with a 34.2% K rate, a .243 ISO, and a .306 BABIP, all of which seem quite sustainable given his skill set. That is to say, it feels like he’s really earning the results this year. It’s not a star-level performance, but it’s a very good player.
  • Sooooo how about a Home Run Derby appearance for Patrick Wisdom, who certainly has as much power as anyone in the game? “If they called, I would definitely answer the phone,” Wisdom said, per NBCSC.
  • Bonus – loving this call of Wisdom’s grand slam:
  • As for Kyle Hendricks, that’s back-to-back quality starts for the first time in 11 months. Yeah, it’s been a minute since we’ve seen the steady, consistent, quality Hendricks we’d come to know. If you want to start to develop hopefulness, he’s got a 3.57 ERA and 3.04 FIP since he took those two weeks to rest his shoulder, and that includes the 4.1-inning, 6 ER clunker against the Braves. If he keeps this up, maybe those rumors about him having a trade market will prove true, even as I remain dubious that the return would actually justify a trade.
  • Some behind-the-scenes on Kyle Hendricks’ between-starts routine:
  • P.J. Higgins’ big night gets kinda buried in everything else, but with three hits (including a homer), he’s up to .304/.371/.536/151 wRC+ in the big leagues (63 PAs). He isn’t striking out and he is hitting for a lot of power (which sometimes does come later for catchers (Higgins just turned 29)). It’s still a little hard to buy THIS level of offensive production, especially given that Statcast’s expected metrics have him the single luckiest hitter in baseball by wOBA compared to expected wOBA (his wOBA is currently a whopping 88 points higher than expected, based on the quality of contact).
  • All that said, I love that Higgins is getting playing time in advance of an offseason when the Cubs will need to know whether (1) they want to keep him on the 40-man roster, and (2) whether they see him as a 2nd/3rd catcher to carry on the roster next year.
  • I love this quote from Willson Contreras on Ian Happ (Tribune): “If you see his stats, he’s doing everything. His name is probably not that big, but his stats are bigger. That’s one thing as a human being you need to see and the work he’s done this year is impressive. I 100% know he deserves to be [in the All-Star Game]. If we looked at stats and who deserves to be there, he is one of them.”
  • The Freeman-Braves-Close situation ain’t getting any prettier, and this has a bit of an air of “scrambling”:
  • So are the Braves going to be in a public spate with a major sports agency now? Pretty wild situation.
  • Turns out Justin Steele did something pretty unique in his start this week:


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.