Cubs: Kyle Hendricks’ 5 best starts v. St. Louis: #2 – September 12, 2016
8 IP+, 1 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 7 K, 81 GSc
Fans were on the edge of their seats when Hendricks entered the bottom of the ninth. The eventual ERA title winner had not surrendered a hit and was just three outs away from history. Facing Jeremy Hazelbaker to lead it off, The Professor got ahead of him 0-2, but he left his 81-MPH two-strike pitch over the heart of the plate and Hazelbaker blasted it over the right field wall for a home run.
It was a bummer moment, but the Cubs still won 4-1 and Hendricks lowered his season ERA to 2.03. Hendricks was pulled after the home run and Aroldis Chapman got the final three outs. He threw 96 pitches and induced nine groundballs and eight flyballs. Hazelbaker would indeed be the only Cardinal to record a hit that night.
That outing remains to this day the closest Hendricks has gotten to a no-hitter. Hopefully, he will go all nine without giving up a hit one day.