Jeff Roberson/Associated Press
- Max Scherzer, SP, Washington Nationals: 4-1
- Kyle Hendricks, SP, Chicago Cubs: 4-1
- Madison Bumgarner, SP, San Francisco Giants: 14-3
- Noah Syndergaard, SP, New York Mets: 9-1
- Jake Arrieta, SP, Chicago Cubs: 9-1
- Johnny Cueto, SP, San Francisco Giants: 9-1
- Jose Fernandez, SP, Miami Marlins: 9-1
With all due respect to the rest of the field, it’s the trio of pitchers at the top—Max Scherzer, Kyle Hendricks and Madison Bumgarner—who figure to be the three finalists for the NL Cy Young Award. And as we learned watching Sesame Street growing up, one of these things is not like the other.
You’ve got your traditional power arms in Scherzer and Bumgarner, both with gaudy strikeout numbers and the ability to blow their fastball by batters when needed. Then there’s Hendricks, the finesse guy, the pitcher with a high-80s fastball who nearly tossed a no-hitter against St. Louis on Monday night.
“Unbelievably great,” Maddon said after the game, per ESPN.com’s Jesse Rogers. “They did not have a good swing against him all night. He was in charge of that entire game. It has to catapult him in the minds of people voting right now. That was spectacular.”
Hendricks, whose efforts lowered his already MLB-leading ERA to a minuscule 2.03, sits among the NL leaders in WHIP (0.96), wins (15) and innings pitched (173). He’s allowed only 123 hits in those 173 frames, which works out to a 6.4 hits-per-nine-innings rate, baseball’s third-lowest mark.