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Stellar Hendricks, patient offense lead Cubs to win in St. Louis

1 year agoAndy Martinez

The Cubs’ patient offensive approach deserves a bulk of the praise, but the performance of Kyle Hendricks set the table for Chicago in their 12-3 win in St. Louis.

Hendricks was solid again, pitching 6.2 innings of 3-run ball and inducing plenty of weak contact. He allowed 1 run in his first 5 innings, but arguably his best moment came in the 6th inning.

I wanna be that guy that my team can rely on,” Hendricks said. “They know what they’re gonna get when I take the ball and go out there every fifth day. Getting more and more into that. Today was another step in the right direction.”

Matt Carpenter led off that inning with a single, two batters later Dylan Carlson singled and then Paul Goldscmidt doubled to make it a 2-2 game. With runners on second and third and one out, the Cubs intentionally walked Nolan Arenado to load the bases. Hendricks induced a 1-0 popout in foul territory to Yadier Molina and then induced a groundball to short from Harrison Bader.

It was really cool being in that situation, honestly. It was the loudest we’ve heard a stadium or kinda been in a stadium in awhile. It was really cool feeling that energy,” Hendricks said. “Just telling myself, take a deep breath and just gotta make a good pitch here. We knew what we wanted to attack him with.

“Luckily we just executed and got him to take a bad swing. He’s so good and hitting really everything and you gotta get a little bit of luck to get him out right now, he’s swinging it good.

That allowed the Cubs to go out and take the lead in the top of the 7th.

Hendricks got 2 more outs in the bottom of the seven before he exited the game with the tying run on base. Tommy Nance escaped the jam and preserved the Cubs’ 1-run lead. 

Offense shines

Speaking of that offense, there were plenty of highlights.

It all started with Joc Pederson’s first-pitch-of-the-game home run.

“It’s awesome, you hear the guys just losing it,” Hendricks said. “We know these are all big games when we face these guys, so just to get any kind of edge we can get is huge. There’s nothing bigger than that. It was a huge spark for us.”

It peaked with their 8-run 8th inning.

The Cubs brought 11 batters to the plate in the inning, drew 3 walks, had 6 hits and turned a 1-run lead into a 9-run blowout against the Cardinals. The Cardinals’ bullpen came into the game with the highest walk rate in baseball and the Cubs took advantage of that, drawing 5 free passes against Cardinal relievers.

Ian Happ continued his hot stretch with a 3-for-4 game. Anthony Rizzo and Nico Hoerner both had 2 hits in the game.

Injury updates

The Cubs placed lefty Justin Steele on the 10-day injured list prior to Friday’s game and recalled Brad Wieck from Iowa.

David Ross said Steele’s hamstring strain was “moderate”. He was undergoing more tests and they hope to know more in the next few days.

Jason Heyward, meanwhile, was starting some “light activities” as he battels a mild hamstring strain and Jake Marisnick is working his way back, too, but Ross didn’t have an exact timeline on a return.

Matt Duffy has been out of the starting lineup since Tuesday, pinch hit Wednesday but hasn’t played Thursday or Friday.

“He’s got some bumps and bruises, for sure,” Ross said. “He’s got some things that are on the radar and we’re trying to just give him some [time]. Nothing major, we don’t think, but yeah just trying to give him a little bit of rest.”

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