#Cubs Hendricks opens series vs Nats
Kyle Hendricks takes the mound Thursday night when the Cubs play host to the Nationals in a showdown between the two teams with the best record in the National League. No Jason Heyward (wrist) for the fourth straight game. Here’s the lineup:
La Stella 3B
At 20-6, the Cubs are off to their best start through 26 games since the team was 22-4 to start the 1907 season.
The Cubs have outscored their opponents this season by 93 runs, 159-66, the best run differential in the Majors, and since 1900, the third-highest run differential by any Major League team through 26 games. The 1902 Pirates were at plus 103 and the 1905 Giants were at plus 96.
Hendricks will be making his 50th career start with the Cubs. He’s 32-17 in his first 49 games. The last time the Cubs won at least 32 of a pitcher’s first 50 starts with the team was 1984-86 when Chicago went 32-18 in Rick Sutcliffe’s first 50 outings.
According to Elias, Anthony Rizzo is the first Cubs player since Andre Dawson in May 1989 to have multiple extra-base hits in each of three-consecutive wins on one road trip. Rizzo went 7-for-14 in the three-game Pirates series with at least two extra-base hits in each game.