Pregame Notes: Kyle Hendricks looks to help Cubs avoid sweep


It’s been a rough week for the fifth-place Chicago Cubs (64-81), as they dropped a three-game series against the Pittsburgh Pirates and have dropped the first two of three against the Toronto Blue Jays.

Taking the mound tonight for a hopeful Cubs team will be rookie starting pitcher Kyle Hendricks. Hendricks (6-1, 2.02 ERA) dominated the month of August, and is looking to continue to improve on a dominant stretch this summer, given he has not lost a contest since back on July 27. Since that loss to the Brewers, Hendricks has pitched at least six innings in all but two of his seven starts – one of those was rain-shortened and the other he pitched into the sixth, tossing 5 2/3 innings.

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In his last outing, he lasted into the sixth, allowing the Brewers to plate just two earned runs off nine hits but was unable to record a strikeout. Hendricks finished the month of August undefeated (4-0 in six starts) with seven earned runs allowed on 28 hits, while recording 20 strikeouts and issuing six walks through 37 1/3 innings of work – good enough to earn the NL Rookie of the Month honors.

He’ll face one of the hottest lineups in baseball later on tonight, as the Blue Jays have outscored the Cubs 17-2 during the first two games of this road trip.

Starting opposite of Hendricks will be 24-year-old right-hander Drew Hutchison. Hutchison (9-11, 4.47 ERA) picked up a no-decision against the Boston Red Sox just five days ago, allowing the defending champs to tag him with three earned runs off six hits with six strikeouts across six innings of work.

You can tune into CSN and WGN AM 720 for tonight’s final showdown against the American League East club, with the first pitch scheduled for 6:07 PM CT.

Here’s tonight’s starting lineups for both the Chicago Cubs and host Toronto Blue Jays: