On Wednesday evening, the Chicago Cubs boosted themselves into a first-place tie following a victory over the St. Louis Cardinals. A pivotal battle to keep an eye on during the second half.
Life is good when our Chicago Cubs are in first place. What’s even better is when our starting pitcher is on a hot streak against the Cardinals. Let’s just say that class has been in session for St. Louis and Kyle Hendricks is handing out failing grades.
Hendricks isn’t necessarily known for his velocity but has proven himself as a solid rotation arm since making his arrival from Texas. Despite being the lone arm remaining from that deal — the other being Carl Edwards Jr. — a path to Cubs greatness is evident.
Granted, he has experienced several bumps along the way, but that’s fairly normal for someone in the big leagues. Slumps will happen, eventually; it comes down to how you recover and perform later on down the road.
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As for Hendricks, so far, so good. Kyle has performed extremely well against the Cardinals, making their lives miserable when he’s on the bump.
On July 27, 2014, Hendricks made his first career start against St. Louis in front of the Wrigley Field faithful. He would work 6 1/3 innings solid innings of one-run ball behind seven hits and two strikeouts, eventually being dealt the loss in that contest.
Recently, things have gone better for the 29-year-old Newport Beach, California native when the Cardinals meet his start schedule.
As of July 31 of the current campaign, Hendricks is 3-0 over the Redbirds in as many appearances, posting an ERA of 0.39. In those three appearances, only one run (19 hits, 13 strikeouts) has been tallied against him and zero walks have been issued across 23 frames.
Freakish numbers considering the bats on the opposite end of these statistics. In fact, St. Louis has the strength to make any pitcher miserable with Paul Goldschmidt in the lineup. A huge addition to their roster thanks to a blockbuster trade with Arizona over the offseason.
Surely, a matchup featuring Hendricks and the Cardinals will continue to catch national attention considering what is on the line. Chicago is hoping to make it back to the postseason for the fifth consecutive season while St. Louis is aiming to break a drought of their own.
When exactly was the last time the Cardinals were in the playoffs? Well, Kyle Schwarber launched a pitch atop the Budweiser sign in right field as the Cubs cemented themselves as a threat in the National League.
With August officially underway, Chicago has seven regular-season showdowns with St. Louis. All at the end of September when the playoff picture becomes clear. And hopefully, our boys will be on their way to clinching third division title under skipper Joe Maddon.