Sure, if somebody were to compare last night’s performances by the starting pitchers Kyle Hendricks and Stephen Strasburg, the edge would have to go to Strasburg. But, and that’s a big one, when it came down to sheer control, domination and command the better pitcher was Hendricks.
Of course, I’m bias on that one. You knew that of course.
The Cubs opened their NLDS series against the Washington Nationals with a 3-0 victory. If this was any indication of how the post season is going, then a road victory is surely that much more awesome.
“Going up against a tough pitcher, tough team in their home park, I don’t know if anyone really expected us to win, and we pulled it out,” Kris Bryant said. “Winning the first game is always important, but in a five-game [series], it’s more important.”
Yes, it is Kris. His bare handed grab at third to throw at first was one of the many highlights of the game.
So, when Kyle Hendricks came into the league back in 2014, he mostly flew under the radar and even up to last year’s World Series win, Kyle retained his unassuming style. Now, after last night’s Lecture On How To Pitch by the Professor Hendricks, I believe that his name will come up with some of the greats. Granted, I may be jumping the gun a little too soon (and in true Cubs fashion, I probably just jinxed the damn team) but admit it, the kid’s on fire.
“I think I’m just a laid-back guy, but you’re definitely feeling it,” Hendricks said. “The energy there in the stadium and crowd was pretty cool, but we’ve played some big games, even down the stretch in our division. We’ve had good atmospheres where we’re playing, so we were ready to take that adrenaline on and use it to our advantage.”
The kid tells the truth, the Cubs have been smoking hot coming down the stretch and you know, they might have to include a director’s cut of the film that’s being planned and add an extended version with this year’s post season.
Hendricks did just Hendricks things by carving out the strike zone and being cool and methodical under pressure.
“That’s why we call him Professor,” Chicago second baseman Javier Baez said about Hendricks. “He knows what he’s doing.”
One of my favourite games was the NLCS when Hendricks shut down Clayton Kershaw and for me, that was the game that solidified his potential Hall of Fame status.
“Joe Maddon has always been there for me,” Hendricks said. “They have instilled a lot of confidence in me ever since I came here. Even when I first came up, I had a bad year in 2015 and they stuck with me. So it’s been that way for a long time. But to get this nod for Game 1, just to try to set the tone for the team is huge. I just wanted to go out there, like I said before, and just do my part to give my team a chance to win.”