Although Hendricks surrendered four earned runs in five innings on Sunday afternoon, raising his ERA from 1.99 — and ending a streak of 22 consecutive starts of yielding three earned runs or less — he still easily outdistanced the second-place finisher, teammate Jon Lester, who recorded a 2.44 ERA. Hendricks departed the game with Cubs trailing Cincinnati, 4-2, but the bats rallied for a run in the eighth and four more in the ninth to beat the Reds, 7-4.
Hendricks, one of the top candidates in the National League Cy Young race, finished the season with a 16-8 record while hurling 190.0 innings, striking out 170 batters and walking just 44. Opponents hit a mere .207 against him, the fifth-lowest in the big leagues, and was one of just two pitchers in MLB to post a WHIP (walks and hits allowed per inning) under one at 0.98.
The numbers posted by Hendricks are some of the best ever recorded by a former Dartmouth pitcher at the major-league level. His 16 wins are the most since the start of the 20th century, and his 170 strikeouts are the most ever. No Big Green pitcher who threw at least 30 innings in any season ever registered a lower ERA. And only Mike Remlinger ’88 posted a better winning percentage (10-1, .909 in 1999 and 7-3, .700 in 2002, both as a reliever for the Atlanta Braves).
The previous best showing by a Dartmouth pitcher in the ERA rankings was by Jim Beattie ’76, who ranked seventh in the American League with a 3.34 ERA in 1982. The other one to finish in the top 10 in ERA was 5-foot-4 Leon Viau, Class of 1888, who placed 10th in the old American Association as a rookie with his mark of 2.65 in 1888.
The Cubs finished the season with the best record in MLB at 103-58 and will have home-field advantage throughout the National League playoffs. The first game of the NL Division Series will take place on Friday in Chicago against the winner of the NL Wild Card game between the San Francisco Giants and the New York Mets.