Kyle Hendricks accomplished something Saturday and he didn't even have to pitch to do it.
Clayton Kershaw had been leading the major leagues in ERA, even though he's been on the DL for several weeks, because he had thrown 121 innings in his 16 starts with a 1.79 ERA. You need to throw a minimum of one inning per game your team has played to qualify for the ERA leaderboard. The Dodgers played their 122nd game Saturday, so Kershaw no longer qualifies. Thus Kyle's 2.16 ERA is now the best among qualified major-league pitchers.
Keep up the great work, Kyle. His next start will be Wednesday in San Diego.
And, here's an interesting random factoid about the Cubs:
The #Cubs have used 91 different pitchers (includes 5 position players) on the mound from 2012-present. Only the #Braves (92) used more— Christopher Kamka (@ckamka) August 20, 2016
Of course, most of those pitchers ran through the roster in the rebuilding period, 2012-14, although this year's Cubs have used 25 different pitchers, including position player Miguel Montero. The other four position player Cubs to pitch since 2012: Joe Mather, John Baker, David Ross and Chris Denorfia.
Here are today's particulars.
Fowler CF, Bryant LF, Rizzo 1B, Zobrist 2B, Russell SS, Soler RF, Contreras C, Baez 2B, Hammel P
Here is today's #Cubs starting lineup for the rubber game in Colorado.— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) August 21, 2016
Preview: https://t.co/h79vVWdcPA #LetsGo pic.twitter.com/tRc2U2LVZ3
Dahl CF, LeMahieu 2B, Gonzalez RF, Arenado 3B, Parra LF, Descalso SS, Paulsen 1B, Wolters C, De La Rosa P
Jorge De La Rosa
The complaint department door is shut tight and locked regarding Jason Hammel, who's having the best year of his career. Since the All-Star break: 0.95 ERA (best in MLB), 0.895 WHIP, opponent BA .172 in six starts covering 38 innings. Hammel pitched for the Rockies for three seasons (2009-11) without much success, but last year's version had a good game in Coors Field, April 11, 2015 -- six innings, three runs, no walks, eight strikeouts. He did allow a homer to Nolan Arenado, but so have a lot of pitchers.
Jorge De La Rosa is not having a good year -- higher ERA and WHIP than last year, K rate down, walk rate up, spent some time on the DL with a groin strain. Since the All-Star break (seven starts): 4.58 ERA, 20 walks in 39⅓ innings. The last time he faced the Cubs was July 27, 2015 at Wrigley Field and they hit him hard there -- five hits and six runs in 3⅔ innings. I'd like another one of those please.
Today's game is on ABC7 Chicago. For affiliate information in the Illinois/Indiana/Iowa Cubs TV market click here.
Here is the complete MLB.com Mediacenter for today.
Baseball-reference.com game preview
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The 2016 Game Thread procedure will be the same as the one used at the end of 2015. Here's how it works.
You'll find the game preview posted separately on the front page, two hours before game time (90 minutes for some early day games following night games).
At the same time, a StoryStream™ containing the preview will also post on the front page. The First Pitch Thread and all the overflow threads will be published in that stream, as well as the recap. The recap will also live on the front page as a separate post, and at the time I write the recap I will rename the stream "Cubs vs. (Team) (Day of Week) Game Threads" so you can go back and find every thread related to that particular game.
You will also be able to find the preview, First Pitch Thread, all the overflow threads and recap in the box marked "Chicago Cubs Game Threads" at the bottom of the front page (you can also find them in this section link). They will also appear in the game's StoryStream™ as noted above.
The First Pitch thread will post at five minutes before game time, then an overflow thread at one hour, two hours and 2:45 after the scheduled game time.
Discuss amongst yourselves.