Cubs rotation enters the stretch run ready to dominate

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It has to be every other National League contender's worst nightmare: The starting rotation of the Chicago Cubs is finally finding its groove at exactly the right time in the season. The calendar might say September, but the starters are beginning to pitch as if it's October.

"This is as locked-in as I've felt," Saturday's winner, Kyle Hendricks, said after the Cubs' 7-1 win over the Philadelphia nike nfl jerseys from china

The same goes for Cole Hamels, who's up for Pitcher of the Month for August, while Jon Lester is also rounding back into form after a post All-Star-break dip. Think about those names if the Cubs do indeed make it to October: Lester, Hamels, Hendricks. They are talented and playoff-tested. What other NL contender, aside from the Los Angeles Dodgers, can say the same about three of its starting pitchers?

"With Jon and Cole, that's where it starts," Hendricks said. "They're never bothered too much. It trickles down to the rest of us young guys."2

That's funny, coming from Hendricks, who beat Clayton Kershaw to send the Cubs to the 2016 World Series. He has pitched in big game after big game, but he knows his teammates are in a different class. When you talk about competing, it's hard to find two who are better. Everyone on the Cubs knows that, as the turnaround began when Hamels arrived.

"It's been nice to watch him," third baseman Kris Bryant said. "There's so many guys that can start. It's nice to see those guys out there making it easy on the offense."

It's also nice to see Bryant on the field at all. He has been missing, because of an ailing shoulder, since July 23 but returned in good form on Saturday, going 2-for-4. He can only help, but none of it will matter if the Cubs' rotation doesn't continue to dominate. It has compiled a 2.58 ERA since nike nfl jerseys for sale cheap

"The starting rotation is doing a good job," fourth starter Jose Quintana said. "We just have to keep it rolling."

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