Long rest and a changeup pays off for Kyle Hendricks — but Chicago Cubs bullpen implodes for an 8th straight loss

Right-hander Kyle Hendricks’ changeup has been a staple of his big-league success.

So it’s not a coincidence that the pitch was at the root of shutting down the San Diego Padres on Tuesday night at Wrigley Field after nearly two-week layoff for the right-hander.

A dead arm and shoulder fatigue had sidelined Hendricks, but time off resolved the issues. After nearing a shutout last month against the Padres, Hendricks went five-plus innings and allowed one run while not walking a batter and striking out six.

But the Cubs squandered Hendricks’ outing in a 12-5 loss, which was a season-high eight straight defeat. The bullpen imploded after his departure, allowing all 12 runs over the final four innings. Manager David Ross needed three pitchers to get through the seventh, when the Padres loaded the bases twice with nobody out as they sent 12 batters to the plate in the six-run, go-ahead inning.

“I feel back to 100% normal,” Hendricks said. “Fatigued a little bit for sure, maybe a little bit at the end. I left that pitch up and that was maybe the one bad pitch for me. But overall I felt healthwise great and stamina-wise real good there for a while. My stuff and my mechanics felt really good, so I’ve got to get back into a routine now and get that pitch count back up.”

Right-hander Caleb Kilian will make his second caeer start Wednesday against the Padres. The Cubs placed second baseman Nick Madrigal (left groin strain) on the injured list, opening a spot for them to recall Kilian because the rookie hadn’t spent the minimum 15 days in the minors since the team optioned him.

The Cubs’ scuffling offense wasted Willson Contreras’ stellar performance, which featured a double and his 10th multi-home run game.

Hendricks surrendered a leadoff double in the sixth, prompting a mound visit from Ross. Before the inning, they had discussed that Hendricks would be going batter to batter. Coming into the game, Hendricks and the Cubs felt comfortable letting him throw in the 85-pitch range. But at 78 pitches and with a five-run lead, Ross went to the bullpen after the double.

“It looked like he was running out of gas,” Ross said.

The bullpen’s meltdown thwarted Hendricks’ momentum-building start. Of the five relievers used — Chris Martin, Scott Effross, Mychal Givens, Brandon Hughes and Eric Stout — only Hughes did not allow a run. Givens failed to record an out in the seventh, walking three Padres, and was charged with four runs allowed.

“It’s hard to hard to put my finger on it and sometimes they have a bad night,” Ross said of the bullpen. “They’d been really good. I’m not going to sit up here and make some excuse or something. They weren’t good. They’ll be back in there tomorrow night.”

Getting Hendricks right is important after his ups and downs dating to the start of last season.

“Kyle was fantastic, I couldn’t ask for more,” Contreras said. “He battled. He execute every pitch …read more

Source:: The Denver Post – Sports


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