Kyle Hendricks told the beat writers after his complete game Thursday in San Diego that it was a night he will remember for a long time.
Less than a year after earning his first big league victory against the Padres, Hendricks recorded the first complete game shut out of his career in San Diego. Hendricks struck out seven batters, his second highest strikeout total of the season (April 18, eight strikeouts versus the Padres) and he resembled the pitcher that took the league by surprise for 13 starts last season.
Hendricks allowed five singles in nine innings and faced three over the minimum with only one batter reaching second base. Hendricks threw 108 pitches, 71 for strikes, and became the first Cubs pitcher in 10 years to throw a complete game shutout in San Diego (Glendon Rusch – June 2, 2005).
Hendricks admitted he needed Thursday’s outing. And he received a beer shower and a dance party in the clubhouse after his gem.
As the concerns about the back of the Cubs rotation continued to mount, despite what Joe Maddon said after Hendricks’ gem, the Cubs needed to see Hendricks pitch the way he did Thursday night. Maddon maintained Hendricks had pitched better than his numbers indicated before Thursday. But his skipper was obviously very happy with the way he pitched and never thought about taking Hendricks out.
If the Cubs could receive consistent outings from Kyle Hendricks close to the way he pitched in 13 games last year, it would be a huge addition for a team that is staying within shouting distance of the Cardinals.
Starlin Castro has been under the microscope for a longtime, even before he made his Cubs’ debut a little more than five years ago. Castro has struggled of late in the field and at the plate which has given his critics even more fuel for the ‘Trade Castro’ fire.
Castro was unfairly cast as a savior for a franchise by a fan base starving for a winner and it’s overlooked just how good he has been during his career.
Starlin Castro is finally playing on a Cubs’ team with a winning record. Think about it this way. Castro has never played a game at Wrigley Field with ivy on the outfield walls at the same time the Cubs had a record above .500. As Ken Rosenthal pointed out, the Cubs have averaged 93 losses in Castro’s first five seasons.
After a very good start to the year (.325/.349/.410 in April), Castro has cooled off as the weather has warmed up. Castro is down to a .272/.304/.346 slash line after hitting .215/.259/.278 over his last 20 games.
Starlin Castro has changed the perception Miguel Montero and David Ross had of him when Spring Training started according to Ken Rosenthal.
The trade rumors will not stop, even if the Cubs move Castro to second or third base in order to field the best team possible. And according to Ken Rosenthal, the Cubs should think twice before trading Starlin Castro.
Cubs on Twitter
Several players took to their personal Twitter accounts after Thursday’s win over the Padres. Not only was there a happy flight to Phoenix, but Maddon got Meat Loaf.
• Jason Hammel: “Our pups taking care of business tonight?! Kyle Hendricks, Kris Bryant, Addison Russell. What a W! #LetsGoCubs #All90sSquad #ImGettingGold”
• Kris Bryant: “Had a great time back in SD! Kyle Hendricks with the CG shutout! #TheProfessor.”
According to a report from the Sun-Times, RHP Neil Ramirez is scheduled to throw a bullpen for Chris Bosio on Friday. The Cubs are in Phoenix for three days to play the Diamondbacks and Bosio will make the short drive to the Cubs facility in Mesa to at least see Ramirez.
The Sun-Times indicated Neil Ramirez is “making strong progress.”
Yoervis Medina was added to the Iowa Cubs roster prior to Thursday’s game against Tacoma, the team Medina was pitching for prior to the trade.
Tommy Birch caught up with Medina before the game and he told the Des Moines Register he was “surprised” the Mariners traded him. And he was also “surprised” the Cubs optioned him to Triple-A instead of being added to the big league bullpen. Medina does not think he will be in Iowa long.
Tommy Birch talked to Tacoma’s pitching coach, Jamie Navarro, and asked him about Medina. Navarro thinks Medina will help the Cubs’ bullpen “a lot.” And I-Cubs’ pitching coach Mike Cather said that “everything we’ve heard is nothing but positive” about Medina.
Medina made his first appearance for Iowa in Thursday’s game. Medina struck out the first batter he faced. According to Tommy Birch, Medina hit the low-90s on the stadium radar and topped out at 93 mph.
Yoervis Medina completed 1 1/3 innings and gave up one hit, but no runs, with a strikeout and two walks. Medina threw 25 pitches, 14 for strikes.
Mark Gonzales provided an update Thursday on Mike Olt.
According to Gonzales, Olt’s wrist injury is more serious than the team thought. Olt is on the 60-day DL with a hairline fracture in his right wrist. The Cubs have to make sure Olt has healed properly and that he is given time to build his strength. Gonzales explained that Olt is “likely to experience some degree of atrophy (a decrease of the size of the wrist).”
Gonzales thinks July is the earliest Mike Olt could be back in the conversation to help the Cubs win games.
RHP Felipe Paulino appeared in his first I-Cubs game on Thursday. Paulino started and took the loss. Paulino allowed four runs on four hits in four innings. Paulino walked five batters and struck out four on 83 pitches, 41 for strikes.
News, Notes and Rumors
• Scott Boras was at PETCO Park on Thursday to watch Kris Bryant and Addison Russell play. Boras represents Bryant and Russell and sees all that young talent coming together for the Cubs according to Patrick Mooney. And for once, Boras praised the Cubs according to ESPN Chicago.
• The Levy Restaurants at Wrigley Field were hit with health violations according to the Sun-Times.
• The I-Cubs rotation for the weekend: Carlos Pimentel (Friday), Dallas Beeler (Saturday), Donn Roach (Sunday) and Eric Jokisch (Monday).
• The Cubs’ youth sparkled in San Diego according to ESPN Chicago.
• LHP Daniel Schlereth was the third pitcher to make his organizational debut on Thursday. Schlereth pitched a scoreless inning for the I-Cubs but issued two free passes. Schlereth threw 20 pitches, eight for strikes.
• The Sun-Times reported Grimm outlook part of writing a better story with the Cubs’ pen.
• OF Jacob Hannemann took home play of the week honors from MiLB.com
And last, but not least, a Milwaukee Brewers reliever was thrown out of Thursday’s game against the Braves because of a foreign substance on his forearm. And LHP Will Smith was not happy with the Braves for turning him in. Doctoring a baseball to get a better grip is a questionable offense because just about every pitcher does it. Smith didn’t follow the rules and was ejected. At least Smith didn’t lie about after the game and ruin an innocent man’s career while destroying his reputation in the process.
This Day In Cubstory
2006 – Cubs signed amateur free agent Blake Lalli
1990 – Andre Dawson was walked five times intentionally in a 2-1 win over the Reds in 16 innings at Wrigley Field. Dawson set the Major League record for intentional walks in a single game surpassing Roger Maris’ record (4) set in on May 22, 1962 and tied by Garry Templeton in 1985.
1989 – Drake Britton, born
1987 – Jaye Chapman, born
1986 – Rebel Ridling, born
1985 – Pete Rose became the All-Time Leader in National League history for runs scored. Rose crossed the plate for the 2,108th time in a 7-4 Cubs win over the Reds at Wrigley Field
1983 – Cubs traded Willie Hernandez to the Phillies for Dick Ruthven and Bill Johnson
1980 – Chad Tracy, born
1973 – Julian Tavarez, born
1968 – At Wrigley Field, Willie Stargell hit three home runs and just missed a fourth in a 13-6 victory over the Cubs. Stargell also hit a single and a double that afternoon in the Pirates victory.
1967 – White Sox purchased Jimmy Stewart from the Cubs
1925 – Cubs traded a player to be named later to the Brooklyn Dodgers to Tommy Griffith. The Cubs sent Bob Barrett to the Robins as the PTBNL
1920 – The Brooklyn Robbins purchased Bill McCabe from the Cubs
1905 – The Reds purchased Shad Berry from the Cubs