Cubs' Hendricks not concerned about extra time off
Brutal beginning. Fabulous finish.
That pretty much sums up Kyle Hendricks' final start of the regular season in which the crafty right-hander allowed back-to-back home runs to Pittsburgh's first two hitters in a 2-1 loss Wednesday.
Those were the only runs Hendricks allowed, and they came right after Anthony Rizzo crushed his 11th homer of the season in the top of the first.
"That can't happen early there with Rizz getting us a 1-0 lead," said Hendricks, who is 6-5 with a 2.88 ERA. "I've got to go out there and put up a zero, give us a chance to build on that lead."
Hendricks' next start will come in the postseason, meaning he may not face live hitting for seven or eight days.
This fact doesn't concern the 30-year-old, however.
"I've been going pretty deep in games," said Hendricks, who has thrown at least 7⅔ innings in four straight starts. "At this point in the year it doesn't hurt getting a few days here and there.
"I'll throw in another bullpen, just do a little more extra throwing. Staying on that five day (schedule) isn't quite as important. We've had so many things to work through this year that this should be an easy one. Whenever I throw, I throw."
Manager David Ross did say Hendricks could throw an inning against the White Sox in the season finale, "depending on what that game means."
Said Ross: "I don't worry too much about rest with Kyle. ... I think he did probably the best job during the quarantine of keeping himself ready and sharp. That was really evident in his performance the fist time he took the bump and how he's performed all year."
Happ out: Ian Happ will not start in the Cubs' series finale against Pittsburgh Thursday afternoon. Manager David Ross said the center fielder tweaked his ankle on a base Wednesday.
"Want to make sure he's OK," Ross said.
Anthony Rizzo will lead off, Willson Contreras will bat third and Jason Heyward moves from the No. 6 spot to the No. 3 spot.
Alec Mills (5-4, 4.14 ERA) will face Pittsburgh's Chad Kuhl (1-3, 5.09).
He said it: "Can't really believe that's the last start of the regular season. Feels like we're just getting started." -- Kyle Hendricks
He said it II: "We're 55 games in and we're already five games short of the playoffs. That doesn't makes sense to your body or your mind. It's all just chaos." -- David Bote