Kyle Hendricks was so good and so efficient today that he not only was given the chance to complete the game – a rarity for him – but he had a chance to throw a “Maddux”. That would be a complete game shutout in under 100 pitches (so named, because Greg Maddux was uniquely masterful at pulling off the remarkably difficult feat).
Hendricks came into the 9th at 90 pitches with a shutout in hand, but on the first pitch of the inning, a lazy pop up to shallow right fell between Jason Heyward and Ben Zobrist when the latter thought the former had it, but Heyward had apparently lost it in the sun. It went for a “double” for Freddy Galvis, who then went on to score on a Ryan Howard strikeout in the dirt, when Galvis stole home as the throw went to first. It was a meaningless run in the 9th, down by four, and a completely unnecessary risk. But he wasn’t being held, so I guess I understand. Everyone wants to steal home. Still. A bit annoying, especially given the way he reached base.
No Maddux, no shutout. What a way to lose it. Oof.
Which should not take away from just how good Hendricks was today. Weak lineup? Yes. But the wind was howling out, and that’s still a group of big leaguers that has been capable enough of winning plenty of games already this year. Great job by Hendricks. Four wins in a row for the Cubs.