Kyle Hendricks (8-6, 2.41 ERA) has been very, very good so far this season for the Chicago Cubs (56-37). He comes into today’s game against the New York Mets (50-43) sporting a 2.41 ERA, which is good enough for first on the team. I wouldn’t say his performance has been a surprise as much as perhaps an “exceeds expectations.” We’ve always known Kyle was good but it seems like he’s arrived a little earlier than expected.
Today’s lineup has a few wrinkles but nothing out of the ordinary, at least as of lately.
Javier Baez is playing second base today while Ben Zobrist shifts into right field and bats lead-off.
Willson Contreras, a mainstay in the lineup since his arrival from triple A Iowa in mid-June, is in left field today and is batting clean-up. While Willson started out like a man on fire in June – slashing .325/.426/.600 and a wRC+ 175 – he has regressed, as somewhat expected after such a hot start, to a still steady, but not quite as eye-popping, .267/.333/.467 and a wRC+ 114. Not to be overlooked, he’s reached base safely in 13 straight games.
Jason Heyward has been shifted to the five spot in the lineup. It’s the first time this season that Joe has put Jason fifth in the lineup. He has one hit in his last five games so perhaps Joe is attempting to shake things up a bit with him. Let’s hope this small change makes all the difference.
Wednesday 7/20 1:20pm ABC 7, ESPN (out-of-market only)
Kyle Hendricks (R)
vs. Mets – Bartolo Colon (R)
1. Ben Zobrist (S) RF
2. Kris Bryant (R) 3B
3. Anthony Rizzo (L) 1B
4. Willson Contreras (R) LF
5. Jason Heyward (L) CF
6. Addison Russell (R) SS
7. Miguel Montero (L) C
8. Javier Baez (R) 2B
9. Kyle Hendricks (R) P