Hendricks enjoys break in Idaho; Ball debuts for South Bend
Ahead of winning his 12th game of the season on Friday, which is tied for the major-league lead, Cubs pitcher Kyle Hendricks spent the all-star break relaxing in Idaho.
It was a couples vacation, which included bullpen catcher Chad Noble and his wife. But why Idaho?
"My wife's from Spokane, Wash., and about 45 minutes from there are a couple lakes that she grew up going to," Hendricks said. "We went there a couple years ago, been there a few times. I love the area up there and obviously Nobes and I are super close, same with our wives. We just had a great couple days, good to disconnect for a couple days, but still get just enough work in to stay sharp."
Hendricks could have been sharper. He had 3 walks and endured a couple of long innings, but made it work and improved his record to 12-4.
"I was kind of feeling it out a little bit, knocking the rust off a little bit from a few days off," he said. "I was kind just a little tentative and being a little too picky with my pitches. So I just got more aggressive, came right after them. But I still could be even better. I've just got to really focus on first-pitch strikes and putting guys away without getting in deep counts."
There was minor league news of note Saturday. David Bote (shoulder) was in the lineup to begin his rehab assignment with the Iowa Cubs. Matt Duffy (back) made his third start for Iowa and pitcher Justin Steele got his second start of 2021. Steele went 3 innings, giving up 1 hit and no runs while striking out five.
In Class A, new addition Bryce Ball made his debut with the South Bend Cubs and doubled in his third at-bat. The Cubs got Ball from Atlanta in the Joc Pederson trade and played him at DH on Saturday.