News and Notes: Pirates’ bats get to Kyle Hendricks in series finale
On another chilly day at Wrigley Field against the Pirates, Pittsburgh found success against Kyle Hendricks.
The Pirates sent 9 hitters to the plate in the 1st inning, collecting 3 hits, drawing a walk and scoring 4 runs en route to a 6-5 win over the Cubs in the series finale.
“I felt like I made a lot of good pitches,” Hendricks said. “You just gotta kinda tip your cap every once in awhile. Today was one of those days. They just did a good job of trying to put the bat on the ball, not trying to do too much and they found some holes.”
The Pirates have had Hendricks’ number this season. In 8 innings against Pittsburgh this season, Hendricks has allowed 13 hits, 4 walks and 7 earned runs. The Pirates are slashing .333/.395/.487 in the two games against him.
“I thought Kyle actually did a really nice job,” David Ross said. “A ton of soft contact falling in. felt like the ground balls were where we weren’t. Didn’t play our cleanest defense behind me. Lot of soft contact fell in.”
Hendricks appeared to settle in when he pitched a 1-2-3 2nd inning, but he allowed 2 more runs in the 3rd inning off 2 hits. He finished the game allowing 6 runs, 4 of them earned on 9 hits and 1 walk while striking out 3 in 5 innings of work.
Marisnick exits game early
To make matters worse in the 1st inning for the Cubs, Jake Marisnick left the game with 2 outs in the inning with a right hamstring strain.
“He’ll get looked at tomorrow,” Ross said. “Get some tests done. He’s got a pretty good hammy strain.”
Wilmer Difo hit a flare to left center field with 2 outs and the bases loaded. Marisnick charged at the ball and fell to the ground. He immediately left the game on his own power. Kris Bryant took over for him in center, with Joc Pederson entering the game and playing left field.
“He’s somebody that is a spark plug when he’s out there, especially against lefties, he gives us great defense when he’s in there,” Ross said. “Looked like just going to get that short fly ball, just grabbed him pretty good.”
The Cubs’ recently snapped five-game winning streak showed their versatility in grabbing wins.
Against the Dodgers, they showed pop and the ability to get after a pitcher early in game one of the series. In the next two games, they showed a never-say-die attitude in winning a pair of games in extra innings. Against the Pirates they showed some small ball, winning two games without hitting a single extra base hit.
Sunday afternoon they showed moxie again, as they scored 3 runs in the 9th inning and brought the winning run to the plate.
“There’s a lot of ways to win baseball games,” David Ross said.
Ross knows that the Cubs core is built around their ability to go deep. While that’s important, the victories are more crucial.
“I hope we win a lot of baseball games with hitting homers, but I hope we win a lot of games in general,” Ross said.
Ross provided updates on some of the other Cubs on the mend.
Javy Báez exited Saturday’s win over the Pirates early with back stiffness and was out of the starting lineup Sunday against the Pirates. Báez entered the game in the 9th inning and made the final out on a groundout.
“He’s doing all right,” Ross said. “We’ll give him an extra day; see how he feels when he starts moving around. A little stiff. We’ll get him moving and see how things loosen up.”
In the 9th inning, Ross pinch hit Nick Martini for Jason Heyward. Ross said Heyward was dealing with a right hand issue and would be evaluated by the doctors.
“Something’s going on that we’re getting checked out,” Ross said. “Didn’t feel like it was something that I wanted him to go up there and hit with something messed up in his hand with the game on the line.”
Jake Arrieta threw a bullpen session Saturday and is expected to throw another one during the team’s trip to Cleveland. He remains on track to return and start during the Cubs’ weekend series in Detroit.
Nico Hoerner took part in some drills Saturday as he works his way back from his left forearm strain. Because of the rain prior to Sunday’s game, Hoerner didn’t do any on-field drills, but remains active as he tries to return to the Cubs’ roster.
“Not much to report on him, other than the kid can’t sit still,” Ross said. “He’s in the weight room, he’s moving around, training room, on the bench, doing everything but what the trainers tell him he can’t do.”
Down on the farm
The Iowa Cubs combined to throw a no-hitter against Indianapolis in their 2-0 win Sunday afternoon in Des Moines, Iowa.
Shelby Miller, who is on a rehab assignment, made his Iowa Cubs debut, pitching 3 shutout innings with 5 strikeouts. Tommy Nance came in relief and struck out 5 over 3 innings, as well. Brad Wieck struck out 5 in 2 innings of work and Ryan Meisinger pitched a clean 9th inning to complete the no-no.
It was Iowa’s first home no-hitter since 1984.