A five game losing streak is always disheartening, discouraging and a little on the disappointing side but there’s one thing that every ballplayer knows too well, it’s the best kind of knowledge that any little league, Single A, Double A or Triple A manager will tell that player;
Last night it was on Kyle Hendricks‘ shoulders to put the brakes on the skid and that’s exactly what they did in a 1-0 victory over the slumping New York Mets. Over six shutout innings, the “Professor” Hendricks held a lecture on the mechanics of pitching. His lanky, unorthodox style allowed only three hits and laid the foundation for Matt Szczur to gain an RBI double.
When Kyle Hendricks pitches, he makes it look easy. I’m in awe how he can strike anyone out but he does. After a great rookie season, Hendricks has been in a bit of a slump but last night, he was on fire.
What’s impressive about Hendricks is his ability to work hard on his game. Joe Maddon is a big supporter of him.
“He hasn’t pulled me aside just one-on-one to talk. But when I see him, he just tells me to be myself. Every day he sees me, ‘Hey, just be yourself.’ And that’s been a thing for me,” Hendricks said. “At times I’ve tried to do too much mentally. Sometimes physically, too, with my mechanics. At the end of the day I need to be myself and just go out there and pitch my game. This was much better. I just focused mentally on every pitch, to make a good pitch. That was the only thought I had.”
I was hoping that Hendricks would have a Cy Young type year after last season’s 7-2 record but in many ways he fits in with the Cubs young lineup. It’s all a learning process and there’s still great years ahead for the Professor.
“We pitched really well,” Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. “They pitched really well. A 1-0 win is always pretty spectacular. But we still have to do a better job offensively. I’m sure they’re saying the same thing on the other side.”