Chicago Cubs: Kyle Hendricks aims to stay superb against Pirates

(Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images) /

On Tuesday, the Chicago Cubs look to get back in the win column, as Kyle Hendricks makes the start against the Pittsburgh Pirates from PNC Park.

The Chicago Cubs lost pitcher Jake Arrieta, just a day after losing Javier Baez. It appears both are going to be fine, and the latter will be in the lineup for Chicago against the Pittsburgh Pirates Tuesday.

Tuesday’s probables

Kyle Hendricks (6-4 3.32 ERA) makes his 20th start of the season, opposing Steven Brault (0-0, 5.93 ERA).

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Hendricks has rebounded nicely back into form for the Cubs. In eight starts since returning from the DL, he is 2-1 with a 2.31 ERA. In his last start, he defeated the Braves, tossing 6 2/3 innings. He allowed one run, a solo home run, walked three and struck out five.

Hendricks admitted to still fighting command issues against Atlanta.

Ace-like form

According to, manager Joe Maddon likened Hendricks’ stretch off the DL to his dominating 2016 season. “His velocity is back where it needs to be, and now there’s a difference between fastball and changeup. He’s looked every bit as good as he did last year.”

In all eight starts off the DL Hendricks has not allowed more than three runs.

Brault is making his first start of 2017.

The 25-year-old lefty has appeared in six games out of the bullpen for Pittsburgh. In his last outing, he pitched an inning against the Cubs on Aug. 30, allowing four runs in the Pirates 17-3 loss.

Brault was named the International League Pitcher of the Year. For Triple-A Indianapolis he went 10-5 with a 1.94 ERA. He has already faced the Cubs four times in 14 ML games dating back to 2016. Against the Cubs, Brault has as 9.35 ERA.

In seven career starts, Brault has logged a 4.26 ERA over 32 2/3 IP.

Does the offense resurface with El Mago?

Chicago’s lineup had been humming but was halted Sunday and shutout Monday. The last run scored came via Ian Happ‘s solo home run, right after Javier Baez was thrown out at second base.

Now as Baez returns to the lineup, the Cubs hope with him, comes the offense. Anthony Rizzo is will not be in the lineup as Victor Caratini replaces him at first base. Rene Rivera is behind the plate. In eight games with the Cubs, Rivera is batting .304, with one home run and five RBI.

Pirates’ rookie Josh Bell is batting .327 in 52 AB against the Cubs this season. Against Chicago, he has four home runs, 12 RBI, and 17 hits.

Next: Jake Arrieta hoping to make his next start, despite injury

What’s next

Game three of the series resumes Wednesday at PNC Park in Pittsburgh. Jose Quintana (9-11, 4.49 ERA) opposes Pirates’ starter Gerrit Cole (11-4, 4.11 ERA).

First pitch scheduled for 6:05 pm C.T.