Chicago Cubs: Kyle Hendricks continues to battle long ball, first inning woes

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

Chicago Cubs: Going with a slightly different look

The tools are all there for Kyle Hendricks to get the job done. It comes down to execution. Of course, that’s easy for me to say as I sit behind my laptop and look through numbers and data.

But it’s for that very reason I remain confident Hendricks will get this sorted out this year. He’s too analytically-driven and numbers-savvy to not see the trends. (As is the Cubs’ stellar sabermetrics’ division).

I’d like to see him go back to his curve ball a bit more (his usage of that pitch has declined by 25 percent over the last four years from eight percent to six) to help keep hitters from sitting on that sinker and four-seamer.

Next: Darvish expected to ramp up amidst uncertainty

All told, he gutted his way through his first second-half start. But as we saw a few weeks ago in San Francisco, he’s at his best when he’s efficient and methodical – not laboring in the early innings as he did once again on Thursday evening at Wrigley.