Cubs: Extra! Extra! Mild-mannered Kyle Hendricks protests a call

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

A truly remarkable thing happened in the third Inning of the game between the Tigers and Cubs on Sunday. After a close pitch that was called a ball, Hendricks, sporting a brief smile, looked in at the home plate umpire and said, “C’mon!” Shocking!

Another pitcher doing this wouldn’t be a surprise. But Hendricks is known for never showing emotion when he pitches. The soft-tossing righty had been squeezed on several calls and, as precise as the Professor is, he relies upon getting those close calls. From him, this little ‘C’mon,’ was tantamount to watching him jump up and down while pontificating upon the umpire’s familial heritage.

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In the end it didn’t really matter. Hendricks scattered eight hits across eight innings. He held onto a shutout going into the ninth. Two successive hits by Willi Castro and Miguel Cabrera to begin the last frame chased him to the dugout and Dan Winkler came in to finish the game.

Unfortunately, Winkler couldn’t quite prevent Harold Castro from scoring so while Hendricks ended up with an earned run, he surely deserved better.

Cubs back Kyle Hendricks in a victory

The Cubs gave him a five run pad, led by Ian Happ. In scoring the team’s first run, Happ hustled all the way from second to steal a run off a double play. Chicago added a run in the fourth. Later, in the three-run sixth, Happ blasted an opposite field homer, while batting from the right-hand side, a great sign. With the three in the sixth the Cubs led 5-0. After that, he game was never in doubt.

Hendricks baffled the Tigers with high four-seam fast balls and a big curve that dropped in again and again for strikes. Best of all, Hendricks struck out eight in eight innings of work and walked no one. At the end of the sixth, he had thrown only 71 pitches, less than twelve an inning.

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The good news is: It looks like the Professor is back – which is good news for our Cubs.