Before Friday's 6-2 victory over the San Francisco Giants, Cubs manager Joe Maddon said he felt pitcher Kyle Hendricks "is throwing the ball as well as I've seen him throw the ball."
Hendricks carried that into a day that looked to be a hitter's day at Wrigley Field, where it was 87 degrees with a soft breeze blowing out to left field.
But Hendricks wound up going 7 strong innings, giving up 2 hits and 1 run, a homer to Gorkys Hernandez leading off the fourth inning. That tied the game at 1-1, but a 4-run seventh inning carried the Cubs to victory and improve their record to 26-21.
"I think it started with fastball command, like it always does for me," said Hendricks, who is 4-3 with a 3.16 ERA. "Fastball command was good. I was keeping the ball down. And it wasn't flying as much as I thought it was going to be, actually. A couple of balls were hit pretty good, and they just (went) right to the track or the wall there."
The Cubs did little with Giants starter Derek Holland, who gave up a run in the first on Anthony Rizzo's RBI single.
But Holland opened the bottom of the seventh by hitting Javier Baez and walking Ian Happ. Giants manager Bruce Bochy turned to Will Smith. Maddon had Addison Russell sacrifice, and after pinch hitter Tommy La Stella walked to load the bases, Ben Zobrist picked on a first pitch and lined it to left for a 2-run double. One out later, Kris Bryant singled home 2 more.
Gotta be the shoes:
Ben Zobrist wore his black shoes and stirrup socks again Friday. He and others in Major League Baseball were warned that they could face fines if shoes weren't at least 51 percent of the team's primary color, which is blue for the Cubs.
Zobrist has been talking to MLB about it, and he said an agreement to allow some freedom is in the works.
"It's not resolved completely yet, but as far as in the meantime, they (the players) have a little bit of freedom until we get something in place," Zobrist said. "MLB and the union are going to talk about it and hopefully get a new structure figured out. A lot of that is dependent upon the teams and how teams want to restructure things versus the players and figure out how we can make it happen.
"I just think it would be great if we could at least have that conversation with your own personal team instead of Major League Baseball. If other teams want to do it differently, fine, but it would be nice for us to only have to deal with it with the Cubs in regard to what we wear on our feet."
The Cubs will be in New York next weekend, and Zobrist said more talks may take place there, where MLB offices are located.
Zobrist said MLB would like to have the situation ironed out "in a couple of weeks to a month."