Javier Baez Bashes, Kyle Hendricks Pitches and the Cubs Win – Cubs 6, Rockies 2

Game One Hundred Thirteen: Cubs 6, Rockies 2

WP – Kyle Hendricks (3-1) LP – Yohan Flande (0-4) Save – None

wflag-pub2014Javier Baez hit two long home runs and Kyle Hendricks limited the Rockies to two runs over eight innings as the Cubs won a series at Coors Field for the first time since August of 2004. The young Cubs stepped up Thursday in Denver and won two of three at Coors Field and finished the six-game road trip with a 4-2 record.

Javier Baez (3-for-4 with two home runs and four RBI), Starlin Castro (1-for-4 with a home run) and Arismendy Alcantara (1-for-4 with a RBI) led the way for the offense. Alcantara singled in Justin Ruggiano (1-for-4 with a run scored) with the Cubs first run and Baez singled in Chris Valaika (1-for-4 with a run scored) in the third and gave Hendricks two runs to work with on Thursday afternoon.

PrintThe Cubs started playing longball after the Rockies cut the Cubs lead to 2-1 in the fourth.

Javier Baez and Starlin Castro hit back-to-back jacks to lead off the sixth and put the Cubs up by three runs. Javier Baez put the game away with his second homer of the game, a two-run shot to right center with Chris Coghlan (0-for-3 with a walk and a run scored) along for the ride.

All four of Javier Baez’s hits in the big league have driven in runs.

The performance turned in by Kyle Hendricks Thursday afternoon will not receive the press it deserves in the wake of Baez’s big day. All Hendricks did was limit the Rockies to two runs on six hits with a walk and four strikeouts in eight innings at Coors Field. Hendricks became just the seventh pitcher, all season, to complete eight innings at Coors. Hendricks threw 107 pitches, 71 for strikes.

Kyle Hendricks kept the Rockies off balance and he made the pitches he needed to in order to get out of jams in the fourth and sixth innings.

Wesley Wright and Justin Grimm recorded the final three outs to end the game.

The Cubs ended up with a 5-2 record in the season series with the Rockies.

As Pat Hughes said during the game, the future is looking better all the time.

With Thursday’s win, the Cubs improved to 49-64 on the season.

Justin Ruggiano led off the second inning of a scoreless game with a single to left center. Welington Castillo worked a full count and that gave Ruggiano a head start at first base. Castillo grounded out to third and Ruggiano advanced to second on the play. Arismendy Alcantara singled to right, Ruggiano scored and the Cubs took a 1-0 lead. Valbuena smoked a ball toward first that Morneau picked to start a 3-6-3 inning ending double play.

Kyle Hendricks made quick work of the Rockies in the second … 1-2-3, 23 pitches for Hendricks after two innings, 17 for strikes.

The Cubs added to their lead in the third. Chris Valaika singled to left (2-1 pitch) to start the inning. Kyle Hendricks bunted Valaika to second. After Coghlan grounded out to short, Javier Baez smoked a 0-1 pitch into left. Valaika scored and Baez ended up at second after Dickerson over ran the ball. With the Cubs up 2-0 and Baez at second, Castro grounded out to third to end the inning.

Kyle Hendricks set down the side in order in the third (37 pitches, 24 strikes) and after three innings, the Cubs had a 2-0 lead.

The Cubs could not add to the lead in the fourth. Charlie Blackmon started the fourth with a single to left center, the first hit off Hendricks. Josh Rutledge hit a fly to deep left that Coghlan caught as he backed up toward the wall. Blackmon tagged and advanced to second on the play. Hendricks fell behind Justin Morneau and he drove a 3-1 pitch past Coghlan and to the left field wall. Blackmon scored, 2-1 Cubs, and Morneau ended up at second with a double. Nolan Arenado reached on a pop, bloop toward short. Castro was playing back and did not have a play on the little blooper. With runners on first and third and one down, Hendricks struck out Carlos Gonzalez swinging (3-2 pitch) on a changeup down and outside of the zone. Dickerson popped out to left for the third out. Hendricks did a good job of limiting the damage.

The Cubs led 2-1 after four innings.

Javier Baez led off the sixth inning with the Cubs clinging to a 2-1 lead. Baez worked a full count before launching his second big league home run down the left field line. Baez’s shot gave the Cubs a 3-1 lead. Starlin Castro followed and worked a 3-1 count before he hit a rocket into the stands in left … Castro and Baez with back-to-back jacks and the Cubs took a 4-1 lead. Flande retired Ruggiano (swinging strikeout), Castillo (grounder to short) and Alcantara (grounder to third) to end the inning.

 

Arismendy Alcantara made an excellent diving catch running toward the infield to take away a hit from Rutledge to start the sixth. Justin Morneau reached on an infield single. Castro tried to make a short-hop pick and misplayed the ball into a hit. Arenado popped out to Baez in short right for the second out. Hendricks did not want anything to do with Gonzalez and walked him on four pitches. With two on and two down, Corey Dickerson dumped a 1-2 pitch into left center. Morneau scored, 4-2 Cubs. Rosario hit a tapper in front of the plate that Castillo picked up and threw to Valaika to end the inning.

The Cubs led 4-2 after six innings.

Chris Coghlan led off the eighth inning with a walk against Juan Nicasio. Javier Baez stepped in and drove a 0-1 pitch into the Rockies bullpen in right center. Baez’s second home run of the game put the Cubs up 6-2. Castro lined out to right, Ruggiano struck out swinging and Castillo grounded out to short to end the inning.

 

Kyle Hendricks took the hill for the eighth inning after throwing 91 pitches, 61 for strikes, in the first seven innings. Hendricks retired the Rockies in order and struck out Arenado swinging to end the inning … and his outing.

The Cubs had a 6-2 lead after eight innings.

And that is the way the game ended after Wesley Wright and Justin Grimm recorded the three outs in the ninth.

The Cubs open a seven-game homestand Friday afternoon with the first of three against the Rays. Tsuyoshi Wada is scheduled to face Chris Archer in the opener.

Follow ChicagoCubsOnline on Twitter: @TheCCO and @TheCCO_Minors

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  • SuzyS

    The forecast for tonight is dark….followed by dawn!!!

    • John_CC

      Ha! Awesome Suzy!

  • J Daniel

    Love the Baez homers!

  • triple

    Argh! I set my dvr to record and when I saw that it was rain delayed I stopped it. I meant to reset it to record for an appropriate time before leaving for work and forgot as I rushed out the door.

    Thanks for the great write up Neil, as there is no better replacement for not seeing a game than reading your detailed notes of a game like this!

    • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

      Agreed Trip! I had to leave after 2nd inning. MLB.com kept me informed but Neil makes me feel like I was there.

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      You’re more than welcome.

  • Eugene Debs

    Super sweet.

  • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

    The Hendricks Bandwagon is pulling out of the station and I’m the engineer! Seats are open, who wants a ride!?

    • triple

      I love it! I’ve got an indestructible 50 gallon drum of blue Cubbie Kool-Aid overflowing and ready to be drunk by all in the Cubbie Caboose! Whose in?

      • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

        It is raining Cubbie Kool-Aid! And Kyle Hendricks and Javy Baez drenched in it!

        Actually probably only on Hendricks. I’m sure many still are expecting him to start bombing. But once again he kept batters off balance and jus flat out executed a pitching opus. The guy is really, seriously good.

    • John_CC

      Cy Young!

    • J Daniel

      Board … No question you have been on the bandwagon … but you have been on all of them … for good reason. I am still going to be conservative in slotting Hendricks at this point but I am considering him a 4 and hopefully a 3 on a really good staff.

      • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

        Yeah, I tried to think of an example to prove you wrong. Couldn’t…;) I was never big on Shark. I always said I thought he’s be better off further away from Notre Dame. A’s is perfect.

        Goes back to Theo for me I guess. And you gotta admit, more often than not they’ve turned out.

  • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

    That 2nd HR for Baez was incredible. Not too many guys that can drive that pitch out of the park opposite field!

  • triple

    One thing about those 3 Baez homeruns; I believe they were all on breaking balls. That opposite field one today wasn’t even a bad pitch and he got a hold of it. So I’m interested in seeing how the Rays pitchers approach Baez’s AB’s. I don’t know if I’d want to try to blow too many fastballs by him. I guess we’ll find out tomorrow. And at this point, I wouldn’t mind seeing this batting order.

    Coughlan LF
    Castro SS
    Baez 2B
    Rizzo 1B
    Ruggiano RF
    Alcantara CF
    Valbuena 3B
    Castillo C

    I doubt Baez would feel pressure in the 3 hole already, and I think that might make Castro see some better pitchers.

    • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

      I like that lineup as well. Although is really prefer Rizzo and Castro switched. Or Rizzo and Baez. I love what the kid is doing and think he’s looking like the real deal. Bu for the moment this is still Anthony Rizzo’s team. The guy leading the league in HR, batting over .270 and OBP just under .400 is going to probably keep the 3 hole for now.

      It may happen soon, and I like it. I prefer Rizzo in the 2 hole, which may not happen without a manager like Joe Maddon. But other than ideal speed, he is the prototype of a 2 hitter.

      • John_CC

        Rizzo jas grow out of the idea of being a 2 hole hitter. He’s a legit 3, 4, or 5 hitter. But I’m with everything else you said.

        • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

          I sgree. He’s totally legit kn any of those.

          But with all the guys coming up, I think he’d be ideal at 3. You don’t want him lower than 5, because his bat and OBP are too good. And with him at 2, whoevee is at 3 is almost a lock to be amongst league leaders in RBI.
          1 Russell
          2 Rizzo
          3 Baez
          4 Bryant
          5 Soler
          6 Castro
          7 Alcantara
          8 Castillo (I’m leaning more and more toward allowing Schwarber to take time and develop as C)

          I know that saying we could have all-stars across the field will be scoffed at and I’ll be accused of dastardly deeds for saying it. But how can you look at that lineup and not say its possible?

          • Tony_H

            Possible yes, but the % chance is not very big. But anything is possible.

          • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

            I agree, just because it’s unlikely voters will want to do that. But so far Castro, Rizzo, Baez and Alcantara have all arrived and each has shown the potential to be so.

          • John_CC

            Dude, Alcantara has shown in the ML that he can be an all star? And Baez…well he’s different because we all expect it, but still 3 games doesn’t make an all star.

          • DWalker

            agreed. They can send a ball a long ways, but they have to keep hitting once those pesky pitchers start knowing all their little holes and gaps. Hey, its encouraging and I am rooting for them, but I’ll save my all star kool aide toast til at least may next year. at this point I’ll settle for productive and fun to watch.

          • John_CC

            Right. I am not trying to be hard on BR but you just have to look around the league over the last 5 years to find all kinds of let downs. Heck, look at Rizzo, he struggled mightily for two years before he made it to now. And a lot of guys don’t make the adjustment. How about Castro? After his first half a year, a much better sample size, everyone was pretty darn certain he would have batting title after batting title and be a first ballot HOF. Sure he is an All Star, but is anyone not even a little disappointed that he is .280 ish hitter in reality and not a perrenial 200 hit per year guy?

          • SuzyS

            John, Surround Castro with a great line-up and he might still be that 200 hit per year hitter. He’s what 25? He still has growth potential.
            Bryant appears to be the real deal and Soler might be…if he can stay healthy.
            I don’t think Castro is finished yet.

          • John_CC

            You missed my point, I’m not dissing Castro and I do see improvement still coming. But calling guys All Stars based on a few ML games or even a season is short sighted to say the least. Castro looked like the second coming after his first season.

            Look at all the ROYs that barely hung on let alone contained to grow. Walton, CP (before the injury ended his campaign), Hollandsworth, Coghlan, Soto, just to name a few very obvious ones close to us.

          • SuzyS

            John, I can agree with that…I was at the “Tuffy Rhodes” opener. Thought we had Ted Williams incarnate. ( 3 HRs that day).

          • John_CC

            Lol! Thanks for the Tuffy of the day.

          • mutantbeast

            Dwight Gooden definitely says “no thanks”

          • J Daniel

            Agree, Suzy

          • SirGladiator

            I think it’s probably more accurate to say that Rizzo struggled his 2nd year, his first year was really good. And even in his ‘struggles’ the professional stats folks knew it wasn’t lack of performance, just really bad luck, he was hitting balls hard and making tons of unlucky outs, they knew if he kept playing that way he was gonna bounce back strong, and he sure did! Certainly you’re right about Castro, he’s good but not great, folks used to think he was great and hopefully there’s a GM or two out there who still thinks that :) . But even with his lower numbers he’s still pretty good, especially with his extra homers!

          • John_CC

            I was one of the very non-experts that saw Rizzo having a growth year through his struggles last year. I argued a Texan or two about more than once.

          • John_CC

            Umm…because I look at it and see three guys that have proven to be MLB players. I know it looks good and they are all ranked prospects but there have been so many highly ranked prospects that have flamed out…a lot more than have become all stars.

            And I see Bryant and more refined plate approach in the 3 hole with Baez probably the cleanup hitter.

          • John G

            I hear ya brother. I remember when I thought Corey Patterson was going to be the second coming of Ernie Banks.

          • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

            That’s possible. And you’re right, a few may not turn out. But so far we’re batting like 1000. Even though it’s a small sample size. And if Soler doesn’t turn out. We’ve got Schwarber or Olt or Zagunis or McKinney or KBrown, Almora or Jimenez or Hanneman, Vogelbach or Torres, Martarano or Now we’ve got Catarini too. And if Bryant, or Russell don’t turn out in infield, we’ve got Olt, Mitchell, Young, Watkins or Torres. It’s unlikely but I think possible. I really don’t know if a system has ever had our depth. To me, the battin talent we’ve accumulated is crazyz

          • John G

            I’ll agree with you that the Cub system has never had this kind of depth. They don’t all have to turn out to be all stars but if they are all in the top 3-4 of vote getters, then it’s gonna be a fun trip. Depth wins.

          • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

            Yep. And maybe they won’t all, but we’ve got insurance.

            And so far, we’ve got 2 all-stars now, 2 that appear to be legit. And our most hyped and quickest to adjust at each level is still at AAA. Then Russell at AA but close to AaA, and remember last fall, Russell kept Baez off the field in Arizona. And he’s the guy Beane described as “Larkin with more power.”

            I won’t go through them all again, but most of the top prospects are excelling at their current levels. And those that aren’t are brand new to said level.

            A guy like Hanneman. He’s totally overlooked. But adjusted to Daytona quicker than Almora! Hanneman could be an all-star. And McKinney is the 2nd youngest at his level, and is excelling. I don’t believe it’s an overstatement to say that the progress if our guys is eye-popping.

          • John_CC

            B-man (I’m trying really hard to find a good nic name for you!) You know I am all in on the rebuild strategy and am really positive about the incredible depth in the system, but none of the names you’ve listed after Soler have done enough at a level high enough. I am high on Almora and now Schwarber. Olt has proven nothing except that he can K and hit big HR. Frankly, he or Voglebach would be great returns on Turner.

          • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

            All they can do is excel at the level they’re at.

            No way I would want to give Olt. I still think he’s going to be very good. He’s got power, plays defense and back at AAA is absokutely raking. I think if he gets back up soon, he could get to 27-18 HT. Especially with Baez up now. Olt barely played earlier. Didn’t get a fair chance. Certainly can’t really judge much from that.

            If we have to give him for Turner, I’ll do it. But I’d exhaust other options first.

          • John_CC

            We’ll seesee soon enough on Olt. But the fact is there is Bryant and Russell to compete for 3B. The Cubs all of a sudden don’t need a guy just because he can hit HR. Baez very well may be a .265 / 35+ hr hitter. Bryant will be 30+hr, Soler could be a 30hr hitter … My point is the need for power alone isn’t going to be there for this future team. Olt is raking AAA but still Ks like nuts. I think he’s up to 15/1 now k/BB. The Cubs just don’t need to sacrifice OBP anymore for HR. I’d much rather have a projected Russell that hits with a high OBP at the hot corner than an all or nothing HR hitter.

          • J Daniel

            Board man you are really partaking in too much kool aid but I am sure it is tasting good :)!

          • John_CC

            He’s gonna be hungover tomorrow…or whenever the bender ends!

          • J Daniel

            They way it is looking it might be 15 years!

          • J Daniel

            At least let’s hope so

          • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

            Touché! But I did tell you fellas I don’t drink right? ;).

            I really don’t. Haven’t drank a drop in almost 2 years.

          • SuzyS

            :-)…That’s a smile.

          • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

            :)))))))))

          • J Daniel

            Schwarber I beleive will be in the OF.

          • John_CC

            Or DHing for the Tigers after he’s traded for Porcello (or whatever AL team has a young TOR arm and in need of a big bat).

          • SuzyS

            As a needed lefty bat…I don’t think he will be going anywhere…unless a better lefty bat comes around.

          • John_CC

            True. What does that make voglebach expendable? I want to say McKinley is a lefty but I might be making that up. But he’s a ways off.

          • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

            I think probably so. But I do think we can afford to wait in him if we wanted. If the potential is there. We’ve got so many other options. And he looks like he could end up as one of the very best. But we can try multiple guys before he would have to be up:

          • John_CC

            They said from almost day 1 that he wasn’t going to a catcher. Now if I know one thing about you its that you do not second guess Mr.Epstien and his crew! :)

          • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

            I thought they left it more open ended than that. That a decision hadn’t been made.

            But if that’s the case I’m cool with it. I want his bat in Chicago because I think he could end up the best pure power hitter after Bryant. And we do have Zagunis. That guy seems to have been pretty undervalued in the draft.

          • Tony_H

            His catching future will be decided this off-season. Even if they decide to keep him catching, doesn’t mean he will be a catcher by the time he gets to the majors, but they may just move him to LF and be done with it.

          • triple

            I think I remember an article where Theo said something about they will likely fast track him, but they still want him to catch once or twice a week so they can make a better assessment and they would make a more informed decision after the season is over.

    • J Daniel

      At this point I would let it alone as they seem comfortable. Make some changes later in September or next year. Just get them better at this point.

    • mutantbeast

      First one yesterday was an 85 “fastball” the Rox pitcher didnt get in enough. The 12th inning HR was a down and away 92mph FB. If anyone wants to pitch Baez inside, then as Dirty Harry Callahan said “make my day” . Miss inside and watch Baez crush it.

      • triple

        Thanks Beast. I saw that 85 on the gun, and thought maybe that was some breaking pitch that didn’t break. That’s some heat! Yeah, throwing that anywhere near the plate to guy with Baez’s bat speed is a big no-no.

  • cc002600

    how about that Hendricks ?
    I thought the only way you could win games was by throwing 98 MPH ?
    I’m so confused. :-)

    • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

      When you control he strike zone and keep guys off balance, a la “you know who,” you can get guys out no matter what. I don’t know what it will take for people starting to believe int this guy. He’s been super successful at every level. When he pitches he reminds me of a crafty vet who is just out thinking opposing hitters. Facing a guy like Hendricks is a chess match. And he’s 5 moves ahead.

      • Thomas D

        I wish there was a like button and a lol at the same time love it made me smile and laugh

      • Tony_H

        LOL! It has nothing to do with people believing in him, it was what is his realistic ceiling in the majors.

        jwildcat ‏@jwildcat1908 2h

        @TomLoxas @DEvanAltman @sahadevsharma Hendricks has been successful at all levels in minors. Why does he get written off by guys like Law?

        Evan Altman ‏@DEvanAltman 2h

        @jwildcat1908 @TomLoxas @sahadevsharma The velo is a big part, no devastating out pitch. Not sexy.

        Sahadev Sharma ‏@sahadevsharma 2h

        @DEvanAltman @jwildcat1908 @TomLoxas he’s a solid back of the rotation arm for a good team. Maybe a 3 ceiling

        TomLoxas ‏@TomLoxas 2h

        @sahadevsharma @DEvanAltman @jwildcat1908 Wow. 3?

        Sahadev Sharma ‏@sahadevsharma 2h

        @TomLoxas @DEvanAltman @jwildcat1908 yeah, maybe a 3 ceiling. I got a best-case-scenario Lohse comp, which I thought was fair

        5:32 PM – 7 Aug 2014 · Details

        @sahadevsharma @TomLoxas @DEvanAltman @jwildcat1908 If he can continue to paint the edges he will get swings and misses. I.e. Tim Hudson.

        Joe Piscopo ‏@Joe_MLB_MAN 1h

        @TomLoxas @sahadevsharma @DEvanAltman @jwildcat1908 Hopefully he’ll surprise he us all and turn into Greg Maddux-lite. #CrossingFingers

        TomLoxas ‏@TomLoxas 1h

        @Joe_MLB_MAN @sahadevsharma @DEvanAltman @jwildcat1908 doesn’t have his stuff.

        @TomLoxas @sahadevsharma @DEvanAltman @jwildcat1908 Maddux threw harder at that age but Hendricks seems to have the control.

        • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

          I like those for most part. Lohse comp is totally selling him short though. Best case scenario is Kyle Lohse? Best case? Hudson or “the name which must not be said,” are best hopes. Kyle Lohse seems more to me like worst case.

          • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

            An I still think he can add velocity. 23 years old, 6’4 and 185 lbs. He could easily weigh 215 in 2 years and only be 25. If that’s 30 lbs of muscle, it’s not going to give him more velocity potentially?

            And he has an out pitch. Change up. Trevor Hoffman used it, Cole Hamels used it.

          • Tony_H

            I think Hudson and Lohse comps are pretty high praise and Kyle Hendricks can only dream of having careers as good as those guys.

          • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

            Hudson is great. Lohse is a journeyman. I don’t think Hendricks is a guy teams will let get away.

          • Tony_H

            A journeyman with 2300 IP, 386 GS, 140 W’s over a 14 year career. At this point, Hendricks can only dream that he will be pitching in the majors in 14 years and have this record.

          • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

            I guess. Just don’t see that as high praise. But his numbers are surprising. I remember a friend saying Adrian Beltre was a HOF’er and I was like “what?” Then I looked at his stats and realized “dang, he’s right.” So I see your point about Lohse.

            Still, I think loftier comps are appropriate in his case. At least as best case. Lohse would be fine, but not a dream.

            And again, he’s 6’3 and 185 at 23. “The name which must not be said,” was 6’0 and 175 in his prime. In 5 more years, it’s easy to imagine a 28 year old Hendricks is 6’3 and 215-220. I think that frame could add another 2-3 MPH. But he really doesn’t need it. Nobody seems to be able to really get him as he is.

            I realize he’s new and teams will adjust. But I just believe in the guy. Others disagree, and that’s what makes opinions fun. I know I was wrong on my lofty hopes for Kalish, this season, and that seemed to really upset some people. But I think Hendricks can be a 20 game winner, under 3 ERA and all-star. #3 on a championship team. That’s my emphatic opinion. I’ll go ahead and apologize in advance.

            Hope nobody chokes on their dinner when they read this…:)

          • Tony_H

            I just don’t think you understand comps and what time does with players. Hendricks is not even a FA until the 2021 season. He won’t be arbitration eligible until the 2018 season. He has a long, long way to go to just be a short timer. I wish him well and love that he justifies the trade that brought him to the Cubs. That is the real story, how as more time passes, more and more of the moves this FO has made look better and better.

          • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

            I understand comps Tony. But Lohse has one season with a sub 3 ERA, and never won more than 16 games. I just believe Hendricks is capable of more than that. Lohse has had a long career and is a capable starter.

            Would you say Lohse is a #3 on a championship team? Other than in 2012? I see more as a 4. I think Hendricks can be a #3. And I’m not giving up on him as a #2 potentially.

          • Tony_H

            Can you let him have, I don’t know, 10, 15 starts before calling him a #3 on a Championship team? I get he has pitched very well, but he is a long way from being anywhere near this talk. Lohse was a 3/4 at his best and that is about the best I think most people, experts, scouts think he is as well.

            I will let the #2 talk just slip by….

          • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

            Potential…all I”m saying.

          • Tony_H

            You can say almost any pitcher has the potential to be any number then. He is a 4/5 right now who has had a few good starts and should be close to having secured a rotation spot for 2015. That’s a pretty good last month for him.

          • J Daniel

            At least for awhile. That is what I have been saying to Board. Hey, he may turn into Maddux and be a #1 but let’s give it a little time. He looks like he has the ability to be a starter at this level. The slot will work itself out in a little time.

          • J Daniel

            At least for awhile. That is what I have been saying to Board. Hey, he may turn into Maddux and be a #1 but let’s give it a little time. He looks like he has the ability to be a starter at this level. The slot will work itself out in a little time.

          • John_CC

            Boardman, how many seasons like that does Hendricks have? And not in your fantasy world. :)

          • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

            Dunno, 2, 3?

          • Tony_H

            LOL! He means how many has he already done.

            The answer is not even 1 month’s of 1 season.

          • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

            You know I’ve predicted great things from him since he was in AA. His minors stats are outstanding.

            And in 26.1 MLB innings he’s been dominating in 25.1. And he seems to get better everytime out.

          • SirGladiator

            That’s exactly right. And he only had that one bad inning because A. It was his first ever major league inning, and B. The umpire was calling the strike zone terribly wrong, as shown by the K-zone. But even with that lousy ump out there he adjusted and owned the other team the rest of his start! Ever since we traded for this guy and I saw his stats I’ve been calling him the next Greg Maddux. He’s the real deal, he’s faced this same criticism all along, that he can’t throw hard enough. And just like Greg Maddux, he doesn’t throw hard, he throws well. Real, real well. And unlike Greg Maddux in his prime, this guy is just a rookie, he’s only going to get better from here! Whether that means gaining a few pounds and throwing harder, or whether that just means gaining even more dominant command (or both) he’s going to do whatever it takes, just like Greg Maddux did, to always have the advantage he needs to get the job done. And in case anybody hasn’t noticed the numbers, after Arietta and Hendricks last starts in Colorado, the numbers have now shifted, and while Hendricks used to be the #2 on the staff, he’s now #1 in ERA, and by a clear margin! Arietta is gonna have to re-earn that top spot, because it just got taken from him :) .

          • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

            I totally agree man. I think he’s stud. And he’s the type that guys will scout and think “I’m gonna rake this guy,” but they just can’t. Similarly to “the name that must not be said,” in that he isn’t overwhelming, but he’s just better at his craft than the batters are. He’s like “I’m going to throw around 90, mix in a change, and you’re never going to guess the location of the next pitch.”

            I think he’s got a great future. And as Tony said, if nothing else, the trade that acquired him is looking like a great one. Would anyone really prefer Delgado at this point? Delgado has got great tools, but so does EJax. Hendricks is just better at the craft of pitching than either. I’ll stick with him all day and in a double header on Sunday.

          • Tony_H

            Delgado in his first 7 starts 2.83 ERA 1.229 WHIP

            Now in the bullpen and struggling. He also got beat up in his debut 4 IP 3 ER but then went on a nice run to finish the year. 31 IP 8 ER for a 2.32 ERA

            I’ll take Hendricks, but realize that many pitchers start out good.

          • Tony_H

            Hendricks has 34 innings. He is around 100 innings shy of being qualified for anything. Let’s just let him pitch and not put such lofty comps and expectations on the kid.

          • John_CC

            If he gains 25 lbs in the next 2 years it will be from drinking to much IPA. That stuff is not a performance enhancer, believe me!

          • John G

            It depends on what kind of performance you’re giving.

          • SirGladiator

            It’s not all that hard to gain weight these days if you’re a professional athlete. Between the gym, and various high level supplements (nothing illegal or bad, just high level scientific stuff) and professional dieting techniques and such, it’s extremely doable, especially when you’ve got team doctors and trainers there to oversee everything, make sure you’re eating right, taking the right stuff, exercising just the right amount, etc. Not that he necessarily needs all that, but if he determines a few extra pounds would give him even more of an edge over the opposition hitters he should have no trouble doing that.

          • Tony_H

            Tell CJ Edwards it’s not that hard to gain weight.

  • John_CC

    Funny how a few of the old regulars aren’t keeping us up date lately! :)

    • Tony_H

      Hopefully they come back and see that everything we have been telling them was coming is starting to happen. Cubs baseball is turning into must see TV!!

      • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

        I like the back and forth. To be honest, it probably seems like me and ST don’t like each other. And I admit, that one day he got me so mad and I called him a closet Cardinal fan. It made me so mad because I lost my cool. I was upset with myself. But I know where I stand with ST. And I know he respects me.

        For a while Gary was the guy that I thought was just hateful and mean on here. But we had a little exchange last week where it came up and of course he said he didn’t care what I or anyone else thought. But I’ve seen a totally different Gary in the past week or so. And for an adult, that can make a change in themselves and try to alter behavior or tone, personally I respect the heck out of that. Even if he’ll never admit it ;).

        I miss Rip. Guy knows his stuff. We rarely agree and he’s the definition of antagonizer. But he’s a nice guy at heart and he also is respectful and not a mean guy.

        Most of us disagree but get along. Even if it doesn’t always seem like it. There are a couple that just seem like they are just pretty miserable and want everyone else to feel as miserable as they do. But those are the guys, that while they may bug me or kind of hit feelings sometimes, I feel for them and pray for them. I’m not super religious either. But I do pray to a God of my understanding and ask for blessings for my enemies and people that get under my skin.

        • texcubnut

          You’re a good man, Board.

          • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

            Thanks texcubnut :-)

    • John G

      I haven’t seen a Bulls logo lately.

  • John G

    I missed today’s game. :-(
    But there will be many more like it, and better. The air is fresher, the sun is out, the clouds are clearing away.
    To coin a phrase: “It’s a beautiful day. Let’s play two.” (or 3 or 4 or more)

  • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

    I can wait for Ramblings tomorrow…

    • John_CC

      I’d really love to meet you someday b-man!

      Curious, do skate or long board or ride snow or surf or what?

      • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

        Well…I loved to surf when I moved to San Diego. I lived there from age 19 to 22 with 4 of my high school buddies from OKC. We just packed a truck and moved to the beach. It was awesome! And I fell in love with surfing. But the pull of home brought me back and I got sick and tired of all my vacation allowance and time being spent to return to OKC!

        When I lived there I had no car. San Diego has great public transportation so I rode the bus or train/Coaster, and I rode a longboard skateboard. When I moved back I gave it up for a while but when I was like 29 I got back into it. Me and a buddy bought boards and started searching for hills (not easy to find around central Oklahoma). We did find an amazing parking garage in downtown OKC that we loved riding. 8 stories and it ends up right at the elevator to return you to the top for the next run!

        http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=6ab_8mhrSx4

        That’s a video of some guys at the garage. I used to have my own but no idea where it went.

        I did start to skate at a park here too. Big bowls and kind of like pool style. But man, I started at 32 years old and although I did get to where I could do it and it was a blast. I took way too many bad spills and at 32 don’t heal like I once did. I’m 36 now and haven’t ridden bowls in a while I may do it again when my son gets older, just to show him not to be scared, but we’ll see if he even want to do it.

        I wakeboard when I can. And yes, I like to snowboard too. When I was real into longboarding like every weekend I started using Theboardrider nickname. I started a blog and would write about what we got into. But then it expanded and I wrote about a lot of other stuff too. Although I’ve gone through some serious personal changes since I was actively blogging, and some articles aren’t really representative of me anymore they are still there. And I do add a new one every now and again, but mostly they are about silly theories I come up with and nonsense like that. Check it out if you want…

        • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider
          • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

            Notice most of my blogging was from 2007-2008. Then a huge break and a couple in 2013. Nothing since….

        • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

          I do still longboard whenever I can. I just like to find a hill or go to the garage and cruise and carve a bit. It’s a lot of fun and I can usually not get hurt. Although I did break my arm one day at the garage by myself. But it was actually when I was done! I had gone down the garage like 10-11 times and called it a day. Just slowly riding back to my car and removing my helmet and wrist guards. I hit a crack that normally I would have rolled right over but I was going too slow and it stopped my board. I went straight down and extended my arm to break my fall and CRACK! Right at the elbow. I almost passed out! But I was able to get to my car and drive myself to the ER.

          And to add, when I was in SD, there are hills everywhere. So I’d ride my board to work or to the bus stop and cruise everywhere on it. It was my transportation. Throw on a backpack, headphones and just ride.

  • nick_ss

    Hey Neil, haven’t posted in a Very long time, hopefully things are going well for you. Been extremely busy this summer. Thanks again for the great site, keeps me up to date on everything when I can’t catch the games.
    After seeing yesterdays game, I had to post……Javy Baez….WOW! That bat speed is just insane!!

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Nick, great to hear from you. I am doing good. Hope you and your family are as well. I am glad you still read. I was thinking about you the other day.

      His bat speed is off the charts. I am glad you checked in. I am hoping more of the ‘old timers’ will as well.

  • mutantbeast

    Len said it best-“does that ball JUMP off his bat or what”? . Javy has unbeleivable torque.