Kyle Hendricks To Start Game 1 Against The Marlins
I'll have a lot more on Cubs vs. Marlins in subsequent blogs and inevitable analysis but for now this one really jumps off the page because people categorically refuse to accept Kyle Hendricks as a #1 starting pitcher. Maybe not the diehards that follow the Cubs day-to-day. But across baseball, people just don't understand how deadly Hendricks is in high pressure situations because those very same people have zero respect for changing speeds and commanding your fastball. It's all about spin rate and velocity and a bunch of other bullshit that's simply below Kyle Hendricks's repertoire.
And by no means am I trying to disrespect Yu Darvish. The fact he's going game 2 means the Marlins are losing game 2. I don't know how to be more confident about his ability to completely shut down a major league team in a critical swing game.
But for my money, I want the game 1 guy to mercilessly ruin your ball club. I want him at 91 pitches when it's in the high 50's and the Wrigley winds are swirling in the top of the 9th. I want groundballs that break the bats and emotions of the Marlins' lineup. Give me the experienced serial killer that is dead last on the Whoop marketing list due to his sub-60 heartbeats per minute. That's the man I want taking the mound for the Cubs and lucky enough that's who we get.
Opposite Hendricks will be some filthy stuff. I suck horrifically at science but I'm smart enough to know the humidity will be different in Chicago. So will the temperature and probably the way the ball feels in the pitchers' hands. That means advantage Cubs but ultimately it will just come down to bats. As Magic Johnson would say, you can't score 0 runs and expect to win. Someone pass that along to the Marlins.