Kyle Hendricks’ last start on August 10 start against the Cincinnati Reds was his worst start of the season. He gave up 12 hits and 7 ER in 2.2 innings pitched amid a dreadful 10-1 loss, so Friday’s game against the last-place Pittsburgh Pirates was exactly what ‘The Professor’ needed to get back to his usual excellence. Unfortunately, it couldn’t help the right ship when it comes to the Cubs’ woeful road record.
Update:— Christopher Kamka (@ckamka) August 17, 2019
The #Cubs currently have the biggest home/road win percentage differential in franchise history.
Home Road Diff.
2019 41-19 (.683) 23-39 (.371) .312
1933 56-23 (.709) 30-45 (.400) .309
This season Hendricks has fallen in line with the Cubs overall struggles on the road, as he is 4-7 with a 5.16 ERA away from Wrigley Field but PNC Park was quite kind to Hendricks on Friday night. He was extremely efficient on the night, tossing seven innings of three-hit ball, giving up one walk and one earned run.
Hendricks’ seven-innings pitched on Friday makes it back-to-back quality starts of the Cubs starters, following Yu Darvish’s squandered 10-strikeout outing on Thursday. Friday’s game also extends Hendricks run of dominance against the Pirates.
Kyle Hendricks has a 2.01 ERA (14 ER/62.2 IP) in his last 11 starts against the Pirates. pic.twitter.com/1QLIivEiah— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) August 17, 2019
But the road woes won out as the Cubs bullpen--which was without several of their best relief arms on Thursday--was terrible again, giving up six earned runs for the second night in a row.
The bullpen did get some good news on Friday night, which was the return of relief pitcher Brandon Kintzler, who had not pitched since August 5. But--and almost no good Cubs news is without a but these days--Kintzler was called up in the ninth inning with one out to nail down the save and things went poorly, fast.
Kintzler said the worst pitch of the inning was the 3-2 change up to Tucker: "That was so stupid."— Jesse Rogers (@ESPNChiCubs) August 17, 2019
Pirates 3, Cubs 2.— Jordan Bastian (@MLBastian) August 17, 2019
For the 2nd night in a row, Chicago loses in walk-off fashion. Kintzler -- who hadn't pitched since Aug. 5 -- asked to get save. He walks 3 in a row (1 intentional) before giving up game-winning single to Kevin Newman.
Cubs now 2-6 on the trip, 23-39 on road.
Three-straight walks and a Kevin Newman single later, and the Cubs had suffered their second-straight walk-off loss.
The Cubs have 10 blown saves since the all star break, most in the NL.— Jesse Rogers (@ESPNChiCubs) August 17, 2019
Hopefully, the Cubs have a short memory as they will get a chance to avenge Friday’s loss on Saturday afternoon at PNC Park. The North Siders are in the midst of a four-game losing streak and will have Jon Lester on the mound on Saturday. Lester has given up a combined 17 earned runs over his last three starts but had a quality start in his last outing against the Pirates, so as Kris Bryant stated, the Cubs have to “keep going”.