The Cubs put the winning run on base in the 9th inning, but couldn’t quite pull off the dramatic moment.
The bats didn’t do a lot against Pirates pitching in this opener, with just seven hits and three walks on the day. They held a lead into the sixth inning, though, but the Pirates scored three as Kyle Hendricks departed, and that was that.
Hendricks’ line is probably slightly worse than he deserved, as an inconsistent strike zone seemed to be a particular challenge for him, and two of his three earned runs scored after he departed the game. That said, it was not a vintage Hendricks effort. He lasted just five innings, worked in a number of jams, and, interestingly, the only three strikeouts he recorded on the day all came in that fifth inning. Like literally all the other Cubs starters this year, his radar readings also registered way down in the mid-80s (which, for him perhaps more than most, would be very alarming if accurate and not part of some intentional ramping up process). I don’t know what to make of it yet, so I’m still in “monitoring” mode, especially since it’s all of the Cubs’ starting pitchers.
More on that in the coming days, I’m sure.