Kyle Hendricks went the distance Monday night, giving the bullpen some needed rest as he blanked the Marlins and added to his impressive streak of dominance while pitching in the Friendly Confines. Meanwhile, the Cubs' offense put out a solid showing, as it was fueled by strong performances from Anthony Rizzo, Wilson Contreras, and Jason Heyward.
In his first ever game facing the Cubs, Adam Conley (7-6) struggled, giving up three hits and two earned runs in the first inning, and he also had issues with his control all night long, as he gave up five hits, struck out only four batters, walked six in just four innings of work, and was regularly visited on the mound by pitching coach Juan Nieves.
"I think that was pretty apparent," Conley told reporters. "Those first two innings, mechanically, I just wasn't putting myself in a position to get on top of the ball." If Conley had one thing working for him, it was his slider, which consistently clocked in around 86 m.p.h., and fooled some hitters. "You don't get any free tries at adjusting in this game, especially against a lineup like this at their place. If you're not good and you're in the zone, there are going to be consequences for that."
Miami was held scoreless for the third time in the past five games, and some blame should also be placed on the Marlins offense, which never got going. Not only did they strand every runner on base they had, but some bad baserunning mistakes were made, like when Derek Dietrich got greedy and decided to stretch a double into a triple, getting caught by a fantastic relay down to Kris Bryant.
Hendricks (10-7) has not given up a run at Wrigley Field since we celebrated our independence on July 4, and has a total record of 8-1 while hurling at his home ballpark. In his third career complete game, he allowed seven hits and three walks while not giving up a single run and striking out five.
Ichiro's quest for 3,000 hits continued when he was penciled in as a pinch hitter by Don Mattingly in the seventh inning. In one at bat, he lined out to third base and didn't get another chance at the plate.
The Cubs still lead the National League in walks with 437, a number that was significantly bolstered thanks to Miami's pitching.
Christian Yelich, who went 1-for-4 has hit in all ten games he has played at Wrigley Field. Let's see if he can keep that streak up throughout the series!