Cincinnati, OH-(ENEWSPF)- Just three years ago, Kyle Hendricks was virtually untouchable. He led all of MLB with a 2.13 ERA to go along with 18 wins, helping the Cubs win their first World Series Championship since 1908.
In 2017 and 2018, he compiled a record of 21-16 with a 3.35 ERA respectively.
The start of this season didn’t treat the Dartmouth grad too well. In the month of April, he had a 1-4 record with a 5.33 ERA. Since the calendar page flipped to May, the veteran right-hander turned things up. Through 3 starts this month, Hendricks has a 2-0 record with a 0.36 ERA, including an 81-pitch, 4-hit complete game shutout against the St. Louis Cardinals on May 3rd.
Last night, he had everything working for him again going 8 innings, allowing one run on a Joey Votto home run, surrendering 3 hits while striking out 7 in the Cubs’ 3-1 victory.
He was even dazzling at the plate. In the 2nd, Hendricks got the Cubs on the board with a 2-run RBI double to put the Cubs ahead 2-0. He followed up with singles in the 4th and the 9th.
After his third hit, the team was cheering from the dugout. Daniel Descalso had a huge smile and was slapping the railing. Albert Almora Jr. even had his arms raised in celebration.
The Cubs’ other run came on a Willson Contreras sacrifice fly in the 5th to give the Northsiders their 3rd and final run.
After giving up a leadoff walk — his only walk of the game — in the 9th, Hendricks was lifted for Kyle Ryan to face Joey Votto. Votto flew out for the first out then in came Steve Cishek to get the final two outs to shut the door on the Reds and give the Cubs their 23rd victory in their last 30 ballgames. The Cubs now have a 2 ½ game lead in the NL Central with the win.
The stellar performance by Hendricks improved his record to 3-4 on the season and lowered his ERA to 2.86.
After the game, Hendricks said, “I didn’t even know what was going on out there. It was a lot of fun.” He went on to later say, “Probably five starts ago, we started getting into this, but now my mindset is a little better. I’m being aggressive and my fastball is working a lot better, so I’m making a lot better pitches, and now I can take advantage, I guess.”
When asked about his performance at the plate, Hendricks replied, “You can help yourself out. As long as we’re in the lineup, we’ve got to hit. We might as well be able to get the job done when we can.”
Kris Bryant, filling in at first base for Anthony Rizzo also said, “They were playing him like on a Little League field and he hits it over their head. I love it when stuff like that happens. He was just doing it all today. It’s super impressive.”
Game 2 of this 3-game set concludes tonight at 5:40 PM with Yu Darvish (2-3 5.40) vs. Sonny Gray (0-4 4.15)
- Kyle Hendricks became the first Cubs pitcher to have 3 hits in a game and allow only 3 hits in 8 innings-plus since Carlos Zambrano achieved the feat on September 10, 2010, vs. the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park.