The Brewers got their four-game series with the Cubs started right yesterday with a 3-1 victory over Chicago’s best pitcher, Jake Arrieta.
Hendricks had made only five major league starts coming into tonight’s game and sported a 3-1 record and 2.10 ERA (3.46 FIP, so a little luck was involved).
Hendricks is 19th on the Cubs prospect list, according to MLB Pipeline and he was the Cubs Minor League Pitcher of the Year in 2013. Baseball America listed him as having the best changeup and best control in the Cubs system.
It was all on display for Hendricks as he shut down the Brewers offense, holding them to six hits and no runs in seven plus innings of work. The Cubs took the win 3-0.
An Anthony Rizzo walk was the only action for either team in the first inning.
Aramis Ramirez led off the second inning with a single for Milwaukee but that was it for the Crew as Hendricks set down the next three in order.
The Cubs scored first, in their half of the second inning. Luis Valbuena led off with a single to left, but was erased on a fielder’s choice ground out by Arismendy Alcantara. Alcantara stole second and moved to third on a wild pitch. He came in to score on a Justin Ruggiano single to give Chicago the 1-0 lead.
Carlos Gomez was hit with a pitch in the third and stole second base to start the third inning, but that was the only action for either team in the frame.
After a three-up, three-down fourth for Milwaukee, Starlin Castro led off the bottom half of the inning with a double. He moved to third on a sacrifice bunt by Valbuena.
He came in to score on a single by Alcantara to make it 2-0 in favor of Chicago. Alcantara was caught stealing at second for the second out of the inning ahead of a Ruggiano single to center. Welington Castillo grounded out to short to end the inning.
Unfortunately for the Brewers, Jean Segura did what he’s been doing all season and hit a routine grounder to short, leading to a 6-4-3 double play to end the inning.
Hendricks earned another one-two-three inning in the top of the sixth and Anthony Rizzo led off the bottom half of the inning with a solo home run (26) to left-center to put the Cubs up three.
Hendricks worked around a two-out single from Scooter Gennett in the top of the seventh for the only Brewer action in the inning. Peralta struck out Castillo to open the bottom of the seventh, but he walked Hendricks to end his night.
Zach Duke came on for the Crew and got ground outs out of Coghlan and Baez to end the inning. Peralta went 6 1/3 innings and allowed three runs on seven hits and two walks. He struck out three.
Hendricks returned to the hill for the top of the eighth for the Cubs. Reynolds led off with a hard hit single to short that Castro couldn’t handle.
Segura followed with a little bloop single over second base to put two men on for pinch-hitter Gerardo Parra who struck out. Gomez followed with a single to right on the first pitch to load the bases for Jonathan Lucroy.
That was it for Hendricks as Pedro Strop came on in relief. Strop jammed Lucroy, who grounded out to third for a double play to end the inning.
The final line on Hendricks was 7 1/3 innings pitched, allowing no runs on six hits and one walk. He struck out five.
Jeremy Jeffress came on to pitch the bottom of the eighth for Milwaukee and put the Cubs down in order in the frame.
Closer Hector Rondon came on to pitch the ninth for the Cubs. He put down Braun, Ramirez and Gennett in order to end the game.
Peralta took his seventh loss of the season for the Crew, despite only giving up three runs. Hendricks picked up his fourth win, and Rondon got his 15th save of the season.