Hendricks was unlucky, not yucky, in costly sixth inning

SHARE Hendricks was unlucky, not yucky, in costly sixth inning
screen_shot_2017_04_14_at_8_40_21_pm.png

“You can’t look at the results there in the sixth inning and get all pissed off about it,” Kyle Hendricks said. | Jon Durr/Getty Images

Even on his best day, Cubs starting pitcher Kyle Hendricks understands his pitch-to-contact approach isn’t always going to be flawless.

In the 4-2 loss to the Pirates on Friday, Hendricks’ fastball command was much better than it was in the win over the Brewers last Saturday. But in the sixth inning, when the Pirates rallied for three runs — including two off Hendricks — his pitch quality wasn’t the issue.

Instead, the Pirates just hit it where the Cubs weren’t.

Andrew McCutchen led off the inning with a weakly hit single before Gregory Polanco broke his bat on a sharp single that grazed off of Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo’s glove. By the time the inning was over and reliever Justin Grimm got Jordy Mercer to fly out after surrendering a two-run double to Francisco Cervelli, the Pirates had pulled ahead in an inning Hendricks characterized as “unfortunate.”

“It just happened to be bad timing,” Hendricks said. “You can’t look at the results there in the sixth inning and get all pissed off about it.”

Despite the loss, Hendricks felt better about this outing than his first, in which he yielded four earned runs. He knows it’s just a matter of time until he discovers the type of rhythm that made him so effective last season, when he finished third in National League Cy Young voting.

“You have to know you still made some good pitches. That’s where your focus has to be,” Hendricks said. “If you keep there over the long run, things will even out.”

Roster moves

The Cubs put reliever Carl Edwards Jr. on the bereavement list after a death in his family. They declined to specify the relation to Edwards, but manager Joe Maddon said Edwards is “devastated.”

“We all know C.J. He’s such a good kid,” Maddon said. “[He’s] absolutely devastated by it. We’ll just wait and see when he gets back. In the meantime, we’ll hold down the fort. Awful.”

Edwards has worked 4⅔ scoreless innings in which he has allowed one hit, struck out four and walked three.

The Cubs activated left-hander Brian Duensing (back) off the 10-day disabled list. He had a strikeout in one inning.

Follow me on Twitter @JeffArnold_.

RELATED STORIES

Pirates get best of Hendricks, hold off Cubs’ rallies in 4-2 win

Quarterback Mike Glennon eager to get started with Bears

The Latest
In a testy debate between nine mayoral candidates, businessman Willie Wilson was targeted for his repeated calls for police to be allowed to ‘hunt people down like rabbits.’ Wilson made no apologies, saying anyone who kills someone, ‘well, they put themselves down there.’
The Blue Demons went on an 18-4 run that trimmed the Huskies’ lead to 63-57 midway through the second half. But UConn restored a comfortable margin with an 8-0 run.
Peyton Sandfort and Filip Rebraca combined to score 20 points over the final seven minutes as the Hawkeyes pulled away from the Wildcats.
DeMar DeRozan couldn’t get a call on a key drive in the final minute (“I got fouled”) and the Bulls botched an inbounds play in the final 10 seconds with a chance to tie — their 20th turnover — to halt their winning streak at one.