Chicago Cubs: Kyle Hendricks’ postseason starts in review
NLDS Game 1
With Hendricks’ dominance in the previous postseasons, Joe Maddon had a fairly easy decision to make when he named Hendricks Game 1 starter for the 2017 NLDS.
Hendricks’ opponent on the mound for Game 1 was Washington Nationals’ Stephen Strasburg. With the Cubs and Nationals best pitchers on the mound, one would have done well to predict a pitcher’s duel.
Over seven innings, Strasburg allowed three hits and two runs (zero earned). In addition to that, Strasburg struck out ten Cub batters and walked one. On the Cubs’ side, Hendricks matched him pitch for pitch. Hendricks also went seven innings, giving up just two hits and not allowing a run. The right-hander struck out six and walked three while throwing 106 pitches, 69 for strikes.
With a 2-0 in the sixth, the Cubs were able to add another run in the eighth to make the score 3-0. Chicago would win by that score, putting them up early over the Nationals one game to none.
In this start, Hendricks went back to his 2015 days, using his sinker as his primary weapon. Hendricks threw his sinker 63 percent of the time on Friday. Along with that, Hendricks was able to induce 11 whiffs, four coming on his sinker, six on his change-up and one on his fastball.
This game set the stage for a back-and-forth series that ultimately ended up with the Cubs winning.