Kyle Hendricks had the worst year of his career in 2021 and one of the reasons was an extraordinarily large number of home runs allowed — 31 in 181 innings, by far a career high.
It’s not that Hendricks’ velocity was down in 2021, he never threw with a lot of velocity. There wasn’t a really good explanation for the problem.
Hendricks didn’t allow any home runs Tuesday against the Mariners, but they pounded him around pretty good in the first inning, smacking a couple of doubles and scoring a pair of runs before Kyle could record his first out. He threw 27 pitches in that inning. In all, he allowed five hits in a two-inning outing, and I’m reasonably certain David Ross would have liked for Hendricks to go three.
Hopefully next time will be better. He did record this nice K on a breaking pitch to end the first inning [VIDEO].
The Cubs recorded a 5-5 tie game with the Mariners Tuesday afternoon. The first two runs came thanks to a two-run homer by Ildemaro Vargas, who won’t be making the Opening Day roster.
That blast tied the game. The Cubs took a 3-2 lead in the fifth when Owen Caissie doubled to right-center after a Michael Hermosillo walk [VIDEO].
Caissie, who doesn’t turn 20 until July, is a big dude with big power. He’s going to be a really good MLB player in a few years.
Or was that a CEO who walked?
Two more Cubs runs crossed the plate in the seventh on an RBI single by Andy Weber and sacrifice fly by P.J. Higgins.
Cubs relievers turned in scoreless work from the third through the seventh, allowing one hit and two walks with five strikeouts. Here’s one of those K’s, from Ethan Roberts:
One of those relievers was Brandon Leibrandt, who the team signed to a minor league deal just last week. He’s the son of former MLB pitcher Charlie Leibrandt. The younger Leibrandt pitched in a handful of games for the Marlins in 2020. He’s 29, though, and likely ticketed for Iowa.
Then the Mariners scored a pair off Ben Holmes in the eighth, and Ben Leeper — who might actually have a chance to appear in the Wrigley Field bullpen this year — was touched up for three hits and the tying run in the bottom of the ninth, and since teams aren’t playing extras at all this spring, that was that, the Cubs’ second tie game in the last three afternoons. Here’s the final out:
Ben Leeper ends the game in Peoria with a strikeout. pic.twitter.com/LiBT8xJYSk— Iowa Cubs (@IowaCubs) March 22, 2022
The Cubs will return to Sloan Park Wednesday to take on the Athletics. Marcus Stroman will make his first start in front of a home crowd, and Adam Oller will go for the A’s. Game time is 3:05 p.m. CT and TV coverage will be via Marquee Sports Network.