Kyle Hendricks lowered his Major League best ERA in Monday’s 7-2 win at Miller Park as the Cubs improved to 89-48, a season-high 41 games over .500. Hendricks allowed one run on a solo homer to Chris Carter in six innings. Hendricks’ earned run average went from 2.09 to 2.07 in his first start of September.
Hendricks leads all of baseball in ERA with a 2.07 and his second in WHIP (0.99) behind NL Cy Young favorite Max Scherzer. Jon Lester (2.61) and Jake Arrieta (2.84) are ranked fourth and fifth respectively in ERA behind Hendricks, Madison Bumgarner (2.51) and Noah Syndergaard (2.56).
Since the break, Hendricks is 7-1 in 10 starts with a 1.36 ERA and 0.92 WHIP. Hendricks has allowed 10 runs on 47 hits with 14 walks and 59 strikeouts in 66 1/3 innings. Hendricks second-half ERA of 1.36 also leads baseball.
Kyle Hendricks is now 14-7 with a 2.07 ERA and 0.99 WHIP in 27 games, 26 starts, on the season.
Monday was actually the first game since Hendricks’ 3-0 win over the Pirates on Aug. 30 that wasn’t decided by one run. Eight of the Cubs last 10 games have been one-run contests. The Cubs are 21-20 in one-run games this season.
The Cubs have scored 691 runs and allowed 462 on the season, that’s a plus-229 run differential which is far and away tops in baseball. The Red Sox (plus-142) own the best run differential in the American League. The Nationals (plus-140) have the second best run differential in the National League.
The Cubs maintained their 16 ½ game lead over the Cardinals in the NL Central. And the Cubs are nine games ahead of the Nationals (80-57) for the best record in the National League.
ESPN Chicago reported that Joe Maddon will not use Rondon in back-to-back games. Maddon will be careful with Rondon over the next four weeks to ensure he’s healthy and ready to setup Aroldis Chapman in the postseason tournament.
Six-Man Rotation – Mike Montgomery
The Cubs plan on using a six-man rotation at least one time through and as of Monday, Mike Montgomery is scheduled to start Sept. 14 against the Cardinals in St. Louis. Montgomery will start Wednesday’s finale at Miller Park.
According to the Tribune, if the Cubs go back to a five-man rotation, Jon Lester would be in line to start the finale at Busch Stadium on Sept. 14.
The Tribune explained, “The Cubs’ plans for a six-man rotation remain flexible after Montgomery starts Wednesday night at Milwaukee. The Cubs want to provide rest for their starters but also realize that some may want to remain in rhythm.”
The Cubs are expected to make the last round of September call ups before Tuesday’s game with the Brewers.
According to the Sun-Times, RHP Spencer Patton, INF Munenori Kawasaki and OF Albert Almora Jr. will be added to the active roster. Multiple reports have suggested Jeimer Candelario would be called up when the roster expanded in September, but he was not included in the Sun-Times list.
With Rondon coming off the DL and the addition of Patton, Almora Jr. and Kawasaki, the Cubs active roster would include 33 players (17 pitchers, 16 position players).
The Cubs have not announced which players from the 40-man roster will be added to the active roster.
Jeimer Candelario finished his season with a nine-game hitting streak. Candelario went 2-for-5 with a double, two runs scored and two RBI in Iowa’s season finale. Candelario doubled in a run in his last at-bat.
Candelario batted .333/.417/.542 with 22 doubles, three triples and nine home runs for a .959 OPS in 76 games for Iowa. In 132 games between Double-A Tennessee and Triple-A Iowa, Candelario hit .283/.376/.464 with 39 doubles, four triples and 13 home runs for a .840 OPS.
Jeimer Candelario had an excellent season. If he is not part of the September call ups, a detailed report will be posted.
Jimenez went 0-for-3 in South Bend’s 3-0 victory over Dayton.
Eloy Jimenez will have a chance to finish his stay in the Midwest League on a positive note during the playoffs. Jimenez should create even more buzz this fall in Arizona. Jimenez is one of seven Cubs’ prospects set to participate in the AFL.
News and Notes
• Carl Edwards Jr. channels his inner Kevin Costner to become trusted option in Cubs bullpen according to a report from Comcast SportsNet.
• Joe Maddon talked to the beat writers about Monday’s win over the Brewers and the contributions from ‘some unlikely heroes.’ Comcast SportsNet reported the Cubs keep showing that ‘believability’ with another late comeback victory. Bench depth was key to win, worth watching toward playoffs according to the Sun-Times.
• According to The Tribune, Chris Coghlan and Miguel Montero stated their cases to make Cubs playoff roster.
• The Sun-Times reported the Cubs have “plotted as many as five or six chances for setup man Pedro Strop to pitch before the playoffs start, barring another setback.”
• According to the Tribune, the Cubs seek to close opponents’ express lanes on base paths.
• Jay Jaffe reported as the division title nears for the Cubs, they are also chasing five benchmarks.
• John Andreoli swiped two bases Monday which gave him 43 for the season, the most in the Pacific Coast League. Quintin Berry finished second behind Andreoli with 35 and former Cubs utility man Arismendy Alcantara was third in the league with 32 stolen bases.
• Matt Murton does not appear to be part of the Cubs’ plans for September. Murton spent the season in Iowa and dealing with a lot of injuries. Murton tweeted Monday, “Thankful for the opportunity this year with Iowa Cubs and Cubs! Appreciate all the support from everyone and loved my team and staff! #Cubs WS 2016!” Murton hit .314/.349/.398 with 12 doubles, a triple and two home runs for a .747 OPS in 76 games with the I-Cubs.
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) September 5, 2016
And last, but not least, Miguel Montero responded to his critics about the ‘speed’ he displayed on the bases Monday. Montero tweeted, “I’d pay to see how fast you can run after 8.5K innings squat down.” Gotta love Miggy.
This Day in Cubstory
2003 – Mark Prior won his seventh straight start in a 4-2 win over the Brewers in Milwaukee. Prior struck out seven batters in seven innings. Randall Simon hit a two-run homer in his first game back in Milwaukee since the infamous Sausage Race incident.
1999 – Sammy Sosa hit home run No. 58
1993 – Ryne Sandberg was held hitless for the first time in 17 games in a 7-6 Cubs win over the Phillies. Sandberg hit safely in 24 of his last 25 games of the season. Sandberg broke his finger Sept. 13 and ended his season early.
1992 – Marco Hernandez, born
1991 – Cubs traded Steve Wilson to the Dodgers for Jeff Hartsock
1983 – Jerry Blevins, born
1975 – Derrek Lee, born
1963 – Cubs signed amateur free agent All Severinsen
1959 – The Cubs swept a doubleheader from the Dodgers in front of a record-setting crowd at the Coliseum. The Cubs beat Sandy Koufax in the first game on a three-run homer by Ernie Banks in the ninth inning.
1948 – After 2,423 at bats, infielder Dutch Verban finally hit the first, an only, home run of his career off Johnny Vander Meer.
1939 – Bill Nicholson, Rip Russell and Larry Frisch homered in the third inning as the Cubs beat the Cardinals 11-3 at Wrigley Field.
1930 – Cubs beat the Pirates 19-14 at Forbes Field after trailing 12-8 after seven innings. The Cubs scored four in the eighth and sixth in the ninth. Hack Wilson hit home run No. 47 and the Cubs stayed in the NL race with the comeback win.
1918 – In game two of the World Series, Lefty Tyler drove in two runs in the Cubs three-run second inning. Boston scored a run in the ninth as Tyler bead Joe Bush. The Cubs evened the series at a game apiece with a 3-1 win over the Red Sox.
1883 – Tom Burns and Ned Williamson both scored three runs in the seventh inning and established a Major League record that still stands in a 26-6 win over Detroit. The team scored 18 runs in the seventh inning.