While Cubdom determines if Kyle Hendricks should start Game 1 of the National League Division Series against the Washington Nationals, a Twitter user pointed out just how impactful the 27-year-old starting pitcher has been.
After Hendricks tossed five shutout innings Thursday night in St. Louis, his career ERA dipped to 2.94 in 100 career outings (99 starts).
That's a better mark than some of the greatest pitchers to even play the game, including Clayton Kershaw, Roger Clemens, Nolan Ryan and Greg Maddux:
ERA through 100 career games:— Jeremy Frank (@MLBRandomStats) September 29, 2017
Kyle Hendricks 2.94
Clayton Kershaw 3.19
Roger Clemens 3.20
Nolan Ryan 3.38
Greg Maddux 3.76
It's not the first time Hendricks has bested Kershaw, having taken down the Los Angeles Dodgers ace in Game 6 of the 2016 NLCS at Wrigley Field, clincing the Cubs' first pennant in 71 years.
Of course, there is one stark contrast: Hendricks made his 100 appearances from age 24 to 27. Kershaw, on the other hand, made his 100th career big-league appearance at age 23. Maddux was also 23 while Ryan and Clemens were 24.
In the seven years and 191 games since Kershaw's 100th appearance, he has posted a ridiculous 2.08 ERA and 0.911 WHIP while striking out 10.1 batters per nine innings.
Still, not a bad start to the MLB career for Hendricks, a guy who was never considered one of the game's top prospects and morphed from a No. 5 starter to lead the league in ERA last season.
Through his 100 career games, Hendricks is 38-22 with a 1.098 WHIP and 507 strikeouts in 590 innings.