Chicago Cubs: Top five single-season performances of the last five years

Jake Arrieta, Chicago Cubs (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
Jake Arrieta, Chicago Cubs (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Cubs
Kyle Hendricks / Chicago Cubs (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

Chicago Cubs: #2 – The Professor caps off a magnificent season in style

The thing that stands out more than the historic offensive performance of the 2016 Cubs team is the depth and quality featured in its starting rotation. Anchored by reigning Cy Young winner Jake Arrieta and a pair of Cy Young finalists in Jon Lester and Kyle Hendricks, Chicago rode their horses to history.

For Hendricks, it marked the year he began drawing near-incessant comparisons to former Cub and Hall of Famer Greg Maddux. Both showcased a soft-tossing, location-driven approach to pitching, something that’s lost in the modern game.

The right-hander tossed 190 innings of 2.13 ERA ball – setting the bar amongst big league starters that year. In 30 starts, Hendricks notched a pair of complete games and limited opponents to just 6.7 hits per nine. But where he really stood tallest was October.

In five postseason starts, Hendricks was masterful – allowing just four earned runs in 25 1/3 innings (1.42 ERA).  He toed the rubber in arguably the two biggest games of the year for the Cubs – the pennant-clinching start against the Dodgers at Wrigley Field and Game 7 of the Fall Classic and – well, we all know how that wound up.