Chicago Cubs: A guy made for the biggest moments
Throughout his career with the Cubs, Kyle Hendricks has been a staple in the starting rotation and the pitcher you hand the ball to in big games. He started and won Game 6 of the 2016 NLCS against the Los Angeles Dodgers when he threw 7 1/3 shutout innings in a clinching game that sent the Cubs to their first World Series since 1945.
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Hendricks got the ball in Game 7 of the World Series against the Cleveland Indians and pitched 4 2/3 really strong innings before getting a way-too-early hook from Joe Maddon. Fast forward to the 2017 postseason and Hendricks was the Cubs’ Game 1 starter against the Washington Nationals in which he threw seven shutout innings in a Cubs’ 3-0 win.
Since acquiring Hendricks from the Rangers, he’s made 132 starts over the last five seasons. He’s gone 52-33 and has a minuscule ERA of 3.07. The soft-tossing right-hander struck out 668 batters while allowing just 186 free passes equating to a 3.59 K/BB ratio.
His dominant performance over the years with the Cubs recently earned Hendricks an extension. On Tuesday, we learned that Hendricks received a four-year, $55.5 million deal with a 2024 vesting option worth $16 million. Based on what he’s done and brought to the Cubs it’s well deserved.
I’m sure at the time when Hendricks was acquired, no one envisioned he’d become the closest thing to a modern-day Greg Maddux that we’ve ever seen. He has and he’s certainly lived up to and far exceeded any possible expectations.
But hindsight is 20/20 and I’m sure if the Rangers knew this is what Hendricks would turn into there’s no way they would have dealt him. All I know is if I ever get the chance to see Dempster, I will personally thank him for helping bring Hendricks to the Cubs.