It’s starting to become a cliche but this western road trip that the Cubs are on is on its way to evolving into the most important road trip of the season. As the Chicago Cubs close in on the Cardinals with only 3 1/2 games behind, the most important statistic here is the fact that the Cubs are winning series. The obvious being that they’ll catch up to St. Louis in no time.
Last night, the Cubs defeated the San Diego Padres 3-0 but it was Kyle Hendricks who deserved the praise as he collected his first win of the season.
“When you pitch like that, you’ll win a lot of baseball games,” said Cubs manager Joe Maddon. “He was in command of himself, in command of the game. It was really fun to watch.”
Yes, the Kyle Hendricks Experience pitched a complete game, his first in a young career. Being an advocate such as I am for pitchers who go deep into games, this only cements the idea that workhorse pitchers are a rarity.
“Not winning a game in a month and a half can drive a guy nuts,” said Hendricks. “I’m not going to say I needed [a win], but I needed it.”
Not to be outdone by Hendricks, Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant, delivered his fifth home run of the season and extending his hitting streak to 10 games in front of his Alma Mater.
“I finally got a hanging curve,” Bryant said. “I like to hit those. Those are usually easy to get in the air, and I saw that coming. I wanted to put it in the air.”
This is the team that fans have been waiting for. The dynamics with young pitching and hitting is the key to perhaps bringing a championship to the North Side. So far this season, the Cubs have kept the games close and battled back in the late innings but most importantly, the young players are developing patience at the plate and control on the mound.
“I definitely think we’re going in the right direction,” Bryant said of the young Cubs. “We had some good at-bats. I definitely think there are better days to come, and we’re all excited for that.”