Enhanced Box Score: Mets 10, Cubs 1 – May 25, 2023
Hand up. That’s on me. I never should’ve celebrated the fact that the Cubs won this series last night. That’s always the deathknell for game three.
Then again, I wasn’t actually on the field tonight pitching or hitting or catching, so maybe it isn’t really on me? We’ll never know.
Cubs got smoked. Bats weren’t there, Michael Rucker wore it late, and Kyle Hendricks didn’t have the storybook start we may have secretly hoped for.
“Success” can mean a lot of different things in a lot of different contexts. Beyond that, you can have success and failure in the same night. I think the results for Hendricks tonight – both the scoreboard and some of the pitch execution – were not what you would want out of even a back-end starting pitcher. I’m sure he’ll say the same. But he was throwing clean with his new mechanics (and touching 89 mph at times), he did get some ugly swings, he definitely got squeezed on the edges of the zone, and most of the scoring happened on a string of four consecutive singles that weren’t exactly scorched (and he didn’t get much defensive help).
The flip side there is that all came on two-strike changeups that didn’t quite fool the batter, and when you’re a contact pitcher, sometimes that contact is going to fall in. And sometimes that means runs in bunches.
All in all, I would say I could once again see the bones for a successful back-end starter. And the Cubs still need that from Hendricks. So I guess the best word I would offer is encouraged.
As for the rest of the game …