Cubs @ Nationals: Hendricks vs Strasburg (NLDS Game 1)

CHC (0-0): RHP Kyle Hendricks (0-0, —) 
WAS (0-0): RHP Stephen Strasburg (0-0, —)
First pitch: 6:31pmCST (TBS)

Hendricks had a no-decision in St. Louis in his final game of the season last Monday (5 IP, 0 ER, 9 K, 1 BB). He went 1-1 with  2.01 in the final month. He lost in DC on August 4, going 7 innings and giving up 3 ER. On the road this season, he’s 3-2 with a 2.83. Overall, the Nationals are 20-92 (.217) against him. Harper is 4-13 with a HR.

Strasburg beat the Pirates his last time out for his fifth straight win. In 10 starts since the All-star Break, he went 6-1 with 0.86. That’s a paddlin’. The Cubs are 29-113 (.257) against him. Heyward is 15-37 (.405) against him with a HR. 

In other notes, the ALCS is shaping up to be an amazing series—between the two best teams in baseball, who unfortunately can’t play for the championship. 

And special thanks to MLB for making it even more difficult this year for people to watch their product—multiple channels, cable requirements, blackout restrictions, limited camera angles, delays, lame announcers. Well done, you greedy pricks.

Go Cubs!


ROSTER: Pitchers (11): Carl Edwards Jr. Kyle Hendricks Brian Duensing Jon Lester Justin Wilson Mike Montgomery John Lackey Pedro Strop Jake Arrieta Jose Quintana Wade Davis Position Players (14): Tommy La Stella Albert Almora Jr. Ian Happ Javier Baez Kyle Schwarber Alex Avila Kris Bryant Ben Zobrist Jason Heyward Leonys Martin Addison Russell Jon Jay Willson Contreras Anthony Rizzo Wilson was added purely for DMurphy. Good luck with that one, Joe.

PHIL: Please lock up Koji somewhere for us all. Thank you.

Leonys Martin over 12th pitcher Rondon/Uehara?

Also, I'll be in attendance at the game.  33 years ago today (or tomorrow, I forget if it was game 4 or game 5) the Cubs made me cry at my 7th birthday party.

Please don't make me cry on another birthday weekend, Cubs....

Game 4. Steve F. Garvey. I will say no more.


I'm with you on Martin over Rondon. Also, re: playoffs and special occasions, I'm missing this first one for my sister's rehearsal dinner and the second for the wedding. Watch over them, all! And happy b-day (I hope!) Trans!

It's a best-of-five series with the Nats. Dimwit Dusty is sure to cost his team one game they should have won. So in reality, the Cubs have home field advantage and should be favored, amirite?

Zobrist RF Bryant 3B Rizzo 1B Contreras C Schwarber LF Russell SS Heyward CF (corrected) Baez 2B Hendricks P With the Nationals having a number of left handed relief pitchers Almora could play a key roll off the bench.

Heyward batting #7 and playing CF.

Heyward vs. Strasburg Lifetime 37abs, .405 ba, 1.058 OPS


Many of those abs would be in his Atlanta days, several swings changes past.

Heyward's next swing-change project will just be to emulate whatever the fuq he does in those ABs.

Well - let's let it all hang out. Nothing to lose, with facing their pitching plus beast of a lineup.

This is by far the most relaxed I've ever been on the opening of the playoffs. I have no expectations of success this year, and still feel the full buzz from last year. I'm sure my pulse rate will get going once the game starts

My sentiments as well. Really wish Fowler was still out in CF and leading off, with both Zobrist and Jay on the bench, but what can you do. Thought of losing this series to Dusty makes me ill

Same here, on all counts. Enjoy the experience!

Yeah. I'm cool as can be. Totally relaxed AND I WISH THEY'D HURRY THE FUCK UP AND START. AND I CAN'T STAND THE (fill in TV network later because I don't know what channel it's on yet) BROADCAST TEAM. And also HEY BLUE, YOU'RE MISSING A GREAT GAME. PLUS IF I HAVE TO WATCH ONE MORE SPECTRUM CABLE TV AD I'M GOING TO LOSE IT. I FUCKING KNOW DirectTV BAD Spectrum Good. Man, I need more coffee.

Gonzalez in game 2. Scherzer in game 3.

From an earlier interview I heard: Scherzer "the most difficult injury...I've had". Wants to be able to throw 100 pitches. "I PROMISE you. I will be pitching in this series." So, it seems (as it did to the bcast guys) that his start will be predicated on how the series is going, more than setting their rotation today.

I suspect the Scherzer situation is a mental game as much as anything. The media buzz in the series would be all about how the Nats are impacted by injury and their chances lowered not knowing if Scherzer is going or not. So they put him in game 3, knowing full well they can pull him out at the last minute.

For the first time in all time, Dusty doesn't hit a slap hitter second. Dang.

Swinging at the first pitch in the playoffs never seems like a good game plan. 1 pitch, 1 out let's the pitcher relax pretty darn quickly.

Zo no, Zo no... take a pitch, man.

don't get it.

stras is no-hitting the cubs through also, hendricks is holding WAS down quite well.

so long no-hitter. ...and a cubs lead! error, advance on bunt, bryant double scoring the run.

View from the nosebleeds.... Hendricks is just cruising.  Team seems loose.  Between innings Rizzo rolled the infield practice ball from first thru the legs of the stadium attendant who was facing away from rizzo, in front of cubs dugout.  Rizzo threw up the field goal sign and laughed.

So, um, any doubters as to Hendricks being the ace of the staff at this point? Which yes is sort of a crazy thing to say but the results speak for themselves.

woo! 1-0 in a best of 5. nice.


Though 41 career post-season innings, KH has an ERA of 1.98 and a WHIP of 1.000

86mph of dominance.

87, thank you

The man has a career ERA in the regular season under 3.00. The dude can pitch.

Really solid game of baseball by the Cubs. Really stout work by all 3 pitchers. I thought the home plate ump was very good through seven, then missed a number of pitches in the 8th and 9th. I think Contreras threw the dropped third strike ball in the 9th exactly where he wanted to. No way to throw the ball past Rizzo into the corner if you dot the runner between the numbers.

Hendricks has established himself as a Number One playoff starter. Wow.

I think every team should be looking for a Hendricks. With hitters seeing a steady diet of 95mph+ from starters and 98mph+ from relievers, 89mph with deception, location and movement is a real weapon.

The Cubs draft the s**t out of that type of pitcher. And develop them, as such.

Cubs!!! I hope the gin wears off before the 4 o'clock start tomorrow. I might've had a few.

Heard a comment on mlb radio that last nights game was like watching Nolan Ryan vs Greg Maddux. We all know Mad dog wins those matchups.

jock jones (WAS assistant hitting coach) suspended by WAS for "sharing revenge porn" (lawsuit filed in SD)

If the case is thrown out, don't let Jacque throw it.

Oh, that was fucking brilliant. +100

it is interesting that Dusty surrounds himself with cronies like that. Jacque, Davey Lopes, etc. Surprised "Dick Pole" is not his pitching coach.

Lenny Harris the new hitting coach, because of course. Or Neifi Perez, pick 'em.

Recent comments

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  • crunch 8 min 45 sec ago (view)

    Yeah, I've made myself familiar with a lot of the changes, but AZP's posts have both added more information and cleared up stuff I didn't fully grasp.  I appreciate the hell out of it.  Thanks Phil, thanks TCR.


  • bradsbeard 1 hour 51 min ago (view)

    Looks like Savant has his breaking pitch classified as a curve while Fangraphs calls it a slider. Suppose by ST he could have made everything over in the pitching lab, so who knows!


  • Arizona Phil 2 hours 7 min ago (view)

    Again, none of these rules (including the one that requires a pitcher to face a minimum of three batters or else record the final out of the inning) have been officially approved.  

    I think one possible caveat that might be added to the three-batter minimum rule would be that the pitcher can be replaced prior to facing three batters or recording the final out of the inning if the other team puts up a pinch-hitter. 


  • Arizona Phil 2 hours 11 min ago (view)

    Ptchers would also be treated differently under the new rules as far as the Injured list and Optional Assignment to the minors is concerned, with pitchers having to spend at least 15 days (up from 10 days) on the Injured List before being eligible to be reinstated and at least 15 days (up from 10 days) on Optional Assignment before being eligible to be recalled (inless the pitcher is being recalled to replace a pitcher on the 26-man roster who has been placed on an MLB inactive list).  


  • Arizona Phil 2 hours 11 min ago (view)

    SONICWIND: As the rule is proposed, prior to the start of each MLB regular season a club must designate all players on its Opening Day 26-man roster as either a "pitcher" or a "position player." A maximum of 13 can be designated as pitchers (14 pitchers max when rosters expand from 26 to 28 beginning on 9/1). 

    For players who come up during the season, the club must designate the player as either a pitcher or a position player when the player is placed on the MLB active list roster. 


  • Arizona Phil 2 hours 24 min ago (view)

    BRADSBEARD: Fangraphs shows the CT as his primary pitch in 2018 with the SL & FB (and an occasional CH) as his secondary pitches, with no CV at all. I guess I'll find out for sure in Spring Training. 


  • Sonicwind75 3 hours 40 min ago (view)

    AZ Phil, thank you as always for the detailed information.  How is the "cannot be a pitcher" part of the rule to be enforced?  With a few two way players and the increasing amount of mop up innings being handled by position players it seems like there could be a gray area there.  What is preventing a team from stashing an athletic relief pitcher as a "5th outfielder" that could be a pinch runner and play a passable OF when needed but could also provide them with extra relief pitcher.  Anytime I hear of a new rule I always think of how Bill Billichek would circumvent it t


  • bradsbeard 3 hours 41 min ago (view)

    AZ Phil, looking around Baseball Savant, it looks like Winkler now primarily throws a low 90s cutter, a 4-seamer that he throws a little harder (but is less effective), a curve and a sinker. The slider and change haven't been a major part of his repertoir the last two years. The cutter has been really effective the last two years but it looks like he lost command/effectiveness of his 4-seemer and curve last year For whatever reason  


  • bradsbeard 7 hours 1 min ago (view)

    They just signed this guy:


  • Hagsag 8 hours 17 min ago (view)

    There seems to be a lot of player movement so far. Too bad the Cubs aren't involved.


  • Arizona Phil 1 day 15 min ago (view)

    Beginning in 2019, a club must wait a minimum of seven days before it can place a player who was claimed off Outtright Assignment Waivers during the off-season back onto waivers, so because he was claimed off waivers on Wednesday 11/27, yesterday (Wednesday 12/4) was the first day the Cubs could place LHRP C. D. Pelham back onto Outright Assignment Waivers, and so tomorrow (Friday 12/6) is the first day the Cubs can send Pelham outright to the minors (if he was placed back onto waivers yesterday).


  • Arizona Phil 1 day 21 hours ago (view)

    A Competitive Balance draft slot can be traded only during a period of time starting on December 2nd and extending up until two hours prior to the MLB First-Year Player Draft (MLB Rule 4 Draft), so don't be surpised if these draft picks are traded during the off-season.

    Keep in mind that the slot cannot be traded for cash unless it is a financial adjustment made to offset the salary of one or more of the players involved in the trade.


  • Arizona Phil 1 day 21 hours ago (view)

    The active list roster limit changes scheduled to go in effect in 2020 have not yet been officially approved. Same goes for the three-batter minimum (or else record the third out in the inning) for relief pitchers. 


  • Arizona Phil 1 day 21 hours ago (view)

    And then the active list roster limit will expand from 26 to 28 on September 1st (max 14 pitchers in September). 


  • Arizona Phil 1 day 21 hours ago (view)

    The "26th man" who was added for doubleheaders will now be the "27th man" and he can be a pitcher. 


  • crunch 2 days 2 hours ago (view)

    ATL signs cole hamels 1/18m...a'ite then.

    also, z.wheeler 5/100+ to the phillies.