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Diamondbacks 8, Cubs 3: The story of Kyle Hendricks and the first inning

If only Kyle could get past his first-inning woes.

Jennifer Stewart-USA TODAY Sports

2019 Kyle Hendricks, first inning: 9.00 ERA, 2.600 WHIP, two home runs allowed (5 IP)
2019 Kyle Hendricks, all other innings: 4.33 ERA, 1.574 WHIP, one home run allowed (20⅓ IP)

I mean... what’s going on here? And this isn’t something new, he did this in 2018 as well:

Hendricks got hit hard in the first inning again Friday night, and though the Cubs did try to mount a comeback, it fell well short in an 8-3 loss to the Diamondbacks.

It was 3-0 Arizona in the third inning when Albert Almora Jr. singled with two out, bringing up Kris Bryant [VIDEO].

That was good to see — KB’s first home run since Opening Day made the score 3-2. Now the Cubs are back in the game, right?

Well, sort of. Hendricks allowed another run in the bottom of the third to make it 4-2, but it didn’t take too long for Javier Baez to get that run back [VIDEO].

That ball: CRUSHED!

That tweet says it was Javy’s 11th, but that’s not right, it was his ninth. Still:

So that’s good, anyway.

Not good: Hendricks giving up three more runs in the fifth, putting the game out of reach.

Good: Almora having a four-hit night, three singles and a double, his second extra-base hit in as many games.

Almora after the game of April 24: .182/.250/.182
Almora after the game of April 26: .246/.313/.311

That’s still not quite where we’d like him to be, but that’s a pretty amazing improvement in just two days.

Dillon Maples, just recalled, had a Dillon Maples inning: Two walks, but he struck out the side and hit 97 miles per hour with several of his pitches. At least he managed to settle down after the walks to K three straight hitters. Also somewhat encouraging: Tyler Chatwood managed to throw a scoreless inning even while issuing two walks.

The Cubs made things mildly interesting in the ninth by getting two runners on base with two out, but Almora, going for a fifth hit, struck out to end it.

I’m going to make a suggestion here, and then you can vote on it below. Should the Cubs consider using an “opener” for Kyle Hendricks? I’m probably the biggest Hendricks fan here, but something’s obviously messing with his head in the first inning. You’d think “The Professor” could figure it out, but now this has been a year and a month of bad first innings. Why not send someone else out there for Inning 1 and then let Kyle take over? This has worked for other teams.

That’s about all I’ve got on this stinker. Oh, and I am well aware that the jersey the team wears has nothing to do with the result of the game, but this is getting weird again:

Blue alt: 0-5
Road gray: 5-3

I hope they wear the grays the rest of this trip.

That trip continues Saturday evening in Phoenix. I thank the Diamondbacks for starting their Saturday night games at 5:10 p.m. local time, which means 7:10 p.m. in Chicago, a “normal” night game time for those of us in the Midwest. Yu Darvish will start Saturday evening for the Cubs and Zack Godley will go for the D-backs. TV coverage Saturday is via NBC Sports Chicago.


Should the Cubs try an "opener" for games Kyle Hendricks starts?

This poll is closed

  • 58%
    Sure, why not? Worth a try.
    (268 votes)
  • 41%
    No way.
    (191 votes)
459 votes total Vote Now