Cubs Record: 92-51 (1st in NL Central; 17.0 games ahead of St. Louis; magic number is 3)
W: Kyle Hendricks (8.0 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 7 K)
L: Mike Leake (6.0 IP, 6 H, 3 ER [4 R], 1 BB, 4 K)
S: Aroldis Chapman (1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 1 K)
MVP: Kyle Hendricks
Cy Young candidate Kyle Hendricks was dealing tonight and the defense made some sparkling plays to help him dominate the Cardinals. He took a no hitter into the top of the 9th, when #devilmagic incarnate himself Jerome Hamdenbagler stepped up to the plate to lead off the inning.
Hardengbanker was down 0-2 and most were thinking that he was toast, but he drove an 81 mph changeup into the right field seats to score the only run and record the only hit of the game for the Cardinals, because of course. Of course he’s the one to break up Kyle’s no hit bid. I mean, I would rather have Matt Carpenter, Stephen Piscotty, or maybe even Neck Tattoo himself break up the no-no than that guy. Hell, I’d probably prefer Randal Grichuk ruin it than Hattenmargler.
Calling Kyle Hendricks’ outing good doesn’t do it justice, because he was fantastic. I’m glad we’re able to see a guy who can barely reach 90 mph on any of his pitches absolutely dominate lineups like Hendricks has. It’s a refreshing change of pace from all of the obsession with 95+ mph fastballs and flamethrowers who can simply overpower hitters. He had hitters off balance all night long, rarely giving up hard contact and making them look foolish with his dirty change. He even tossed in a couple nasty curve balls here and there. It was a masterful performance, and I hope to see another from him soon.
Dexter Fowler hit a really sexy long bomb that was absolutely obliterated.
Ben Zobrist crushed a Mike Leake offering to hit only his 2nd home run of the 2nd half of the season. It was his first homer since August 20th.
Addison Russell made a wonderful play at short tonight (to nobody’s surprise). In the 6th inning, Jhonny Peralta hit a sharp ground ball to his right, and somehow Russell was able to range over, dive for it, catch it, spring up to his feet, and throw Peralta out with plenty time to spare. Not to be outdone, Jason Heyward made a great catch in the foul stands. He ran over and grabbed it while falling into the stands, and was still able to keep a leg in play. Those are the kinds of defensive plays that happen when somebody throws a no hitter. Unfortunately, some goober decided it’d be a good idea to be a douche. It’s never a good idea to be a douche, folks. #dontbedouchey
Jeremiah Hangintrinker’s decision to not fade into the abyss.
I think you know.
Jason Hammel (14-8, 3.50 ERA, 1.19 WHIP) and the Cubs will face Jaime Garcia (10-12, 4.58 ERA, 1.37 WHIP), as the Cubs look to decrease their magic number to clinch the division to 1. First pitch is at 7:15pm local time.