Chicago Cubs: A resurgent Kyle Hendricks could be a difference maker

(Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Cubs
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Chicago Cubs: Starting pitching needs to find a rhythm

Despite inconsistencies from everyone not named Jon Lester or Mike Montgomery, the Chicago rotation has managed to stay pretty even keel – at least on paper.

As a whole, Cubs starters boast a 3.80 earned run average, which ranks fifth in the National League. But where they’ve really struggled is longevity. Only three rotations in the league have tossed fewer innings than Chicago’s.

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Those three teams? The New York Mets, Miami Marlins and Los Angeles Dodgers.

To a degree, Los Angeles makes sense – they’ve battled injuries on a near-constant basis since the season started. Only one Cubs starter, Yu Darvish, can say the same. And the contributions Montgomery made in his absence thus far have been nothing short of life-saving.

Getting Darvish back will surely help – but that seems unlikely. At least before the All-Star Break. The rotation has been the ‘haves’ and the ‘have-nots’ for awhile now – a trend that needs to change.

Lester paces the group with his 2.25 earned run average. Montgomery followed suit with a 2.43 mark in seven starts. But from there, a huge gap exists. Hendricks comes in at 4.21, Quintana at 4.31, Tyler Chatwood at 4.54 and Darvish rounds out the group at 4.95.

The Cubs need a bridge somewhere in that group. And it needs to be Kyle Hendricks.