Greg Maddux

Dusty Baker has a baseball mancrush on Kyle Hendricks

Dusty Baker has a baseball mancrush on Kyle Hendricks

As Kyle Hendricks gears up for his NLDS Game 1 start, the team he's facing knows full well what he's capable of.

Washington Nationals manager Dusty Baker spoke Thursday, the day before Game 1, and compared Hendricks to Greg Maddux.

Baker is hardly the first person to compare Hendricks to Maddux, but the veteran manager carries a lot of clout, especially because Greg's brother - Mike Maddux - is Baker's pitching coach in D.C.

Kyle Hendricks is off to a better start to his career than Clayton Kershaw and Nolan Ryan

kyle_hendricks_career_start_slide.jpg
AP

Kyle Hendricks is off to a better start to his career than Clayton Kershaw and Nolan Ryan

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:

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.

Former Cubs executive Dallas Green passes away

3-22_dallas_green.jpg
AP

Former Cubs executive Dallas Green passes away

The Chicago sports world lost another central figure in its history Wednesday.

The day after Jerry Krause died, former Cubs executive Dallas Green passed away at the age of 82.

Green was the Cubs' general manager from 1981 to 1987. He was considered the architect of the 1984 Cubs, a team that went 96-65 and finished first in the division.

One of his most notable moves was acquiring Ryne Sandberg, who was a minor leaguer at the time, in 1982. Two years later, Green was named Executive of the Year while Sandberg was named NL Most Valuable Player.

Green was also a vital part in rebuilding the Cubs' farm system, where players like Greg Maddux, Rafael Palmeiro, Jamie Moyer and Mark Grace came up under Green's watch.

Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts released this statement Wednesday night.

"Dallas Green had an eye for talent. Our fans can credit him for acquiring and drafting several of the most accomplished players to wear a Cubs uniform, including Hall of Famers Andre Dawson, Greg Maddux and Ryne Sandberg, as well as All Stars like Shawon Dunston, Mark Grace and Rick Sutcliffe. Green was not afraid to make bold moves in pursuit of winning and in 1984 led the Cubs to their first postseason appearance since the 1945 World Series. He will forever hold a meaningful place in Chicago Cubs history. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends as we mourn his passing."