Cubs have a trio of starters – all of whom can be called an ace

Yu Darvish / Chicago Cubs (Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images)
Yu Darvish / Chicago Cubs (Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Cubs
Kyle Hendricks / Chicago Cubs (Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images) /

Chicago Cubs: One shaky start is the only blemish for Hendricks

We talked about how well Alec Mills has induced weak contact this year. It’s the same story with Hendricks, who has long relied on mixing his pitches and hitting his spots to keep hitters off-balance. This year, he’s mixed in a curve ball more effectively – keeping hitters off his change-up and sinker more effectively.

Hendricks ranks in the top 10 percent of the league in hard-hit rate and his trademark control has been as good – or better – than ever before. He’s walked just 1.9 percent of opposing hitters and, like Darvish, has struggled just once this year.

The soft-tossing righty got the 2020 season going by tossing a complete game on Opening Night, allowing just three hits to the Brewers’ nine hitter, Orlando Arcia. That outing marked just the fifth Opening Day shutout since 1993 – a testament to just how well Hendricks pitched that night.

His second time out, the Reds hit him hard. But in the two starts since, it’s been the same old Hendricks. He’s allowed just three runs in 13 innings of work – and he hasn’t walked a single batter in that stretch.