The Cubs began their final road trip of the year in Arizona against the Diamondbacks. Another Chicago starting pitcher was on his game Monday as Kyle Hendricks looked as good as he has all season. His team provided some power to back the Professor in another big win.
Patrick Corbin matched Kyle pitch for pitch early on and the game remained knotted at zero through five innings. Leadoff singles from Albert Almora and Kris Bryant put men on the corners with none out in the 6th. Anthony Rizzo hit into what appeared to be a double play to score Almora, but on review he was ruled safe at first.
That review turned out to be big as Javy Baez followed with a long two-run homer to left-center field. That 3-0 lead gave plenty of cushion for Hendricks who mowed through the Arizona lineup. Bryant gave fans a sight for sore eyes, hitting a two-run shot of his own to right field in the 8th.
The Professor came out in the 9th to try for his third career complete game. AJ Pollock greeted him with homer to make it 5-1 and Maddon took him out after a two-out single from Paul Goldschmidt. Justin Wilson didn’t even record an out as Willson Contreras gunned out Goldie trying to steal second. (Box score)
Why the Cubs Won
Hendricks was dominant Monday, coming just a single out short of a complete game. A couple home runs gave Chicago all the offense they needed.
Baez’s homer was big, for an offense struggling as bad as the Cubs has been a 3-0 lead felt like a lot of breathing room.
Stats That Matter
- Hendricks had his best start of the season: 8.2 IP, 1 R, 3 H, 8 K, and 1 BB. He got a ton of outs on the ground which is a very promising development.
- Bryant is starting to look more like himself and tonight homered for the first time since July 20th.
Despite the woeful offense of late, the Cubs starting staff continues to shine. As they showed Monday night, with any kind of run support this Cubs team is a formidable group.
Game two of the series is another 8:40 pm CT start Tuesday. Mike Montgomery faces Matt Andriese in game aired on WGN.