Coming into Friday night’s game, Kyle Hendricks was 12-3 with a 2.82 ERA in his career against the Cardinals. This was his 25th career start against them and now his 13th win. For his whole career, Kyle has a record of 85-61 with a 3.47 ERA. Last night was his 220th career start. This leads me to two thoughts. First, Kyle has really owned the Cardinals in his career. Two, what a glaring example of the death of the pitcher win. Kyle was a good pitcher through his career to this point and he has played (mostly) on a good team. He’s not guaranteed to win 100 games and though he’s likely to reach that milestone, 150 seems insurmountable.
The domination of the Cardinals makes little sense. Kyle debuted in 2014. The Cardinals have had a winning record in every single one of those seasons and have won multiple division titles. Baseball is filled with these oddities. We all know how those irritate us when that guy seems to always be a little better when he’s facing you.
With the win, the Cubs have now split their first six games against the Cardinals. They don’t have a winning record against anybody yet this season. Besides the Cardinals, the Cubs have split 10 games with the Brewers and six with the Braves and Padres, all of whom are squarely in the NL playoff hunt. It is interesting that the Cubs have actually hung in there against some of the better teams.
Kyle Hendricks wasn’t the only good thing out of Friday’s game. Let’s look at the positives.
- Kyle Hendricks. 7⅓ innings, five hits, one walk, six strikeouts. Excellence.
- Nico Hoerner. Two hits and a walk. One of those hits was a two-run homer that gave the Cubs the lead. He’s at .280/.312/.392 (wRC+ 94). That’s good for 1.6 fWAR.
- Chris Martin faced two batters to close the eighth inning and retired them both.
And now we turn our attention to the Heroes and Goats from Friday’s game.
Game 71, June 24: Cubs 3 at Cardinals 0 (27-44)
Reminder: Heroes and Goats are determined by WPA scores and are in no way subjective.
- Superhero: Kyle Hendricks (.258). 7⅓ IP (27 batters), 5H, BB, 6K (W 3-6)
- Hero: Nico Hoerner (.199). 2-3, HR, BB, 2RBI, R
- Sidekick: Chris Martin (.149). ⅔ IP (2 batters)
- Billy Goat: Jason Heyward (-.055). 0-4
- Goat: David Bote (-.054). 0-4, 2K
- Kid: Alfonso Rivas (-.040). 0-4
WPA Play of the Game: Nico Hoerner’s two-run homer in the second inning. (.172)
*Cardinals Play of the Game: Harrison Bader doubled with a runner on first and no outs in the eighth inning. (.136)
Who was the Cubs Player of the Game?
This poll is closed
Someone else (leave your suggestion in the comments)
Rizzo Award Cumulative Standings: (Top 3/Bottom 3)
The award is named for Anthony Rizzo, who finished first in this category three of the first four years it was in existence and four times overall. He also recorded the highest season total ever at +65.5. The point scale is three points for a Superhero down to negative three points for a Billy Goat.
- Nico Hoerner +18
- Christopher Morel +13
- David Robertson +11.5
- Kyle Hendrikcks/Matt Swarmer -7
- Daniel Norris -7.5
- Jason Heyward -16.5
Up Next: Game two of the three-game set. Adrian Sampson makes his first start of the year for the Cubs after a strong relief outing last Sunday. Miles Mikolas (5-5, 2.64) is the opposition.