#PoetryInMotion Kyle Hendricks during his 7 inning/106 pitch outing Thursday afternoon (Photo by Alan Pan/The BIGS Visuals)
WRIGLEY FIELD- #PoetryInMotion (Kyle Hendricks) picked up his 9th win of the season as he faced two more than the minimum through seven innings in the Cubs 1-0 blanking of the Giants. That's a five-piece spicy (5 straight wins) for the Cubs and an overall record of 44-19 this year at The Friendly Confines. The Cubs move 1/2 game ahead of the second place St. Louis Cardinals in the NL Central.
Hendricks said one of the keys to a successful outing for him is "getting weak contact." He got a lot of that limiting Giants hitters to three hits on 106 pitches thrown. "There were too many 3 ball counts but the guys made all the plays behind me. Everything felt great physically."
#PoetryInMotion didn't walk a batter and has now walked two or fewer batters in 23 straight starts. The longest single-season streak by a Cub since Scott Sanderson in 1984 in all 24 of his starts. "He had a great changeup and his fastball was alive," said skipper Joe Maddon.
#TheNatural (Kris Bryan), who made a great play at 3rd base stopping what would've been a leadoff double for Kevin Pillar in the top of the 8th, loves playing behind Hendricks. "Everytime out it's the same outing. Seven innings & no walks. I can't say enough about him," Bryant said.
"Samardzija had us chasing more than the last two games," said Maddon. The ex-Cub wasn't too shabby himself going seven innings giving up just two hits and one run walking one while striking out four.
The Giants threatened in the top of the 8th with 2 outs when SS Brandon Crawford tripled to the right field corner. Kyle Ryan relieved Brandon Kintzler and fanned pinch hitter Austin Slater to end the inning and put their hopes to rest.
#BigFolks (Anthony Rizzo) continued his hot streak at the crib (.600/2 HR/4 RBI on this current homestand) with an RBI single in the bottom of the 4th to put the only run on the board. When I asked Joe about the offensive consistency of his 1st baseman, he says "Riz is the epitome of a professional hitter."
#BigFolks Anthony Rizzo's rbi single scored the only run of the game (Photo by Alan Pan/The BIGS Visuals)
This is Rizzo's 6th season with at least 25 HRs, becoming the 7th Cub with six or more joining Sammy Sosa, Billy Williams, Ernie Banks, Ron Santo, Aramis Ramirez and Ryne Sandberg. His 215 bombs are the eighth most in franchise history.
The Cubs welcome the Washington Nationals and former Cubs bench coach Dave Martinez in for a 3 game weekend set. #TheACE (Jon Lester), #Q (Jose Quintana) & #ColeWORLD (Cole Hamels) will take the bump.
"We've been playing well. Getting those tough wins on the road and coming back home where we play well. The guys are getting that little vibe. I think our guys are in a good mental space right now," Maddon said.
Hendricks echoed his sentiments. "We've been grinding for a while and things are starting to come together now."
FINAL- Cubs 1 SF 0
Summary- An Anthony Rizzo RBI single in the bottom of 4 was all the offense needed for the Cubs win. There were 5 hits total (Giants 3/Cubs 2)
Player(s) of the game- Kyle Hendricks (7 IP 3 H 0 BB 7 K)
Play of the game- Reliever Kyle Ryan getting Giants pinch hitter Austin Slater looking in the top of 8 after a 2 out triple by Brandon Crawford to end the threat.
Quote of the game- "I love it. We're very similar hitters with pretty close swings. He's a really professional hitter and really underrated." - Kris Bryant on #Nicky2X (Nick Castellanos) hitting in the 2 hole
Next game- v WAS 8/23
#TheACE (Jon Lester)10-8 4.23 ERA v Anibel Sanchez (7-6 3.99 ERA)
Giants manager Bruce Boche made his last regular season appearance at Wrigley Field as he will retire at the end of the season. In 25 seasons as a manager (Padres 1995-2006) (Giants 2007-2019) he's won four pennants & three World Series titles. Congratulations!