Hendricks struggles again in Chicago Cubs' loss
The Chicago Cubs still are trying to figure out the puzzle that has become pitcher Kyle Hendricks.
Hendricks' second start after the all-star break didn't go much better than his first. And that has to be mystifying to the Cubs, who purposely laid out a plan that kept their top right-hander on a five-day routine after the break.
Hendricks ran his pitch count up early in Tuesday night's 5-1 loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks at Wrigley Field, and he was gone after 5 innings, having thrown 106 pitches.
The D'backs scored 3 runs on 4 hits in the fifth against Hendricks (6-9), whose ERA ticked up from 3.00 to 4.05.
Cubs manager Joe Maddon decided to come right back with Hendricks and left-handed ace Jon Lester on regular rest after the All-Star Game, while giving lefty Jose Quintana 11 days of rest.
"Part of it was we thought primarily with Kyle, that Kyle, among all of them, would be the freshest and needed the rest the least out of the whole bunch," Maddon said. "We thought that was kind of the group opinion. With Jon right after that, just talking to him the way it all spread out, he was fine because he was coming off a longer rest prior to that.
"We felt Quintana needed the rest based on a little shoulder fatigue. So that was the reason."
Hendricks ran deep counts in the first inning after getting ahead 0-2 on four of the five batters he faced. He gave up a pair of two-out singles but left the runners stranded. He also ran things up in the third, surpassing 70 pitches thrown.
"I thought my stuff was good today," he said. "It's the same story. I've just got to put guys away quicker, get quicker outs, not even try to strike guys out, get balls in play and get them hit at people. So, yeah, it's a little frustrating."
Former Cub Jon Jay tripled with one out in the fifth and scored on Paul Goldschmidt's single past the drawn-in infield. One out later, Steven Souza doubled home Goldschmidt before Jake Lamb singled to score Souza.
Cubs batters had trouble with Clay Buchholz, who worked 6⅔ innings, giving up 6 hits and 1 run, a homer to Jason Heyward in the sixth.
There was a minor dust-up near the end of the game.
Cubs second baseman Javier Baez had to leave after the seventh, when he was slid into hard by Souza, who was out trying to stretch a single into a double leading off the inning. Cubs reliever Steve Cishek hit Souza with a pitch in the ninth with a man on base.
Souza and Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo exchanged words when Souza reached the base.
"I don't think we hit him on purpose there," Rizzo said. "He thought we did. I just obviously defended us and defended Javy. He slid hard into Javy. We don't think it's dirty at all. It's a hard slide, but obviously I'm going to stand up for my teammates at all times."
Baez had his left knee wrapped.
"Pretty sore, to be honest," he said. "Hopefully I can play (Wednesday). His toe got into my knee, just got my muscle really good. I just got a big bruise … If you see the replay, it's not a dirty slide, but I did give him his lane. He does have a lane to slide. It's not breaking up a double play there. It's not a dirty slide, but he got me pretty good."