Chicago Cubs: Kyle Hendricks aims to continue surge Saturday

MILWAUKEE, WI - JULY 29: Kyle Hendricks
MILWAUKEE, WI - JULY 29: Kyle Hendricks /

Kyle Hendricks leads the Chicago Cubs on the mound Saturday in game two of the 3-game series at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia.

The Chicago Cubs have dropped two in a row yet still maintain a three-game lead in the Central over the Brewers and 4 1/2 ahead of the Cardinals.

Toeing the rubber

While the dog days of August have reared its head, Kyle Hendricks (4-4, 3.52 ERA) is on the mound Saturday night as he looks to continue his strong surge against the Philadelphia Phillies. In his prior two outings, Hendricks has gone six innings and has taken a no-decision in his last three. He has three quality starts in his last four.

More from Chicago Cubs News

Hendricks has only allowed seven earned runs in August and for the month is 0-1 with a 2.66 ERA. He has a 2.45 ERA in six starts off the DL. The Cubs are just 2-4 in Hendricks’ starts over that span.

Against the Phillies in three career outings, Hendricks is 2-1 with a 2.61 ERA, 0.823 WHIP. In 20 2/3 innings, he has punched out 18 batters.

Meanwhile, the Phillies counter with rookie Ben Lively (1-4, 3.70 ERA).

Making his ninth career start overall, it will be just Lively’s third start in the majors since July 5. In his recent outing against the Giants, he tossed six innings of 6-hit ball and allowed two earned runs. He did not record a decision.

Saturday’s lineups

As the Cubs attempt to get their bats revved up, Javier Baez, also known as El Mago, enters play on a mini four-game hitting streak, 6-for-16, and has only gone hitless in three August games.

Among the tasks for the Cubs will be to attempt to slow down rookie Rhys Hoskins. On Friday he became the fastest player (54 AB) in ML history to reach nine home runs, 21 RBI in just 16 career games.

The Chicago Cubs have not had much success in the city of Philadelphia. They are just 17-25 all-time at Citizens Bank Park since 2004 but have taken two of their last three series there.

Next: Chris Archer should be an off-season target

What’s next

In the series finale, it’ll be John Lackey (10-9, 4.90 ERA) versus Aaron Nola (9-9, 3.58 ERA).

First pitch is set for 12:35 pm C.T. from Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia.