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Cubs News and Notes: Fly the W, Hendricks amazing, the 3-H Club, Rizzo rocking, more


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Ross and Hendricks embrace after the win (Kamil Krzaczynski - USA Today Sports)
Ross and Hendricks embrace after the win (Kamil Krzaczynski - USA Today Sports)

CUBS NEWS AND NOTES

Next Game: Today, 12:05 PM Central. Brewers @ Cubs; Probable pitchers: RHP Corbin Burnes (0-0) vs RHP Yu Darvish (0-0).

Fly the W, Chicago, as the Cubs are now 1-0 at the expense of the Milwaukee Brewers. While both Kyle Hendricks and Brandon Woodruff put on a pitching clinic, the Cubs and their Professor wound up schooling the Brew Crew by a final of 3-0.

Hendricks went the distance, hurling all nine innings, and damn near earned himself yet another Maddux.

The Professor walked nobody while striking out nine and allowing just three hits (all by Orlando Arcia). David Ross did take a walk to the mound in the ninth, but unlike the classic Joe Maddon move, Rossy gave his starter the nod with a message that read “Do it.”

Hendricks had his pitches moving all over what appeared to be a Bermuda Triangle above the plate. Never crossing the 90-mph mark, Hendo made the Brewers’ offense look silly. Do you want to know how to tell your starter is raking? The Cubs didn’t even turn on their bullpen lights until the ninth, and that was only as a precautionary measure. On a side note, I didn’t even recognize Kimbrel without his beard.

Way to go, Kyle. Can we please do this again next week? This is certainly one way to erase my concerns about the Cubs’ bullpen.

The ‘3-H Club’ kept the Cubs alive for the first several innings: Hendricks, Hoerner, and Happ. I’ve made no bones about how I feel having Kris Bryant bat in the leadoff spot, and his 0-4 night just solidified my feelings even more. As the Cubs got to the bottom third of the order (Victor Caratini-DH, Nico Hoerner, and Ian Happ), I told my wife, “Watch, this trio will get the Cubs on the board. While Caratini failed to reach, Hoerner punched a ball through the infield, followed by his Compound roommate Ian Happ who then punched – well, smashed is a better word – a ball over the center-field wall.

Back to KB for a moment. The players wanted a consistent lineup – something that never even crossed Joe Maddon’s mind. Ross seems to b committed to giving them that much, but has he already painted himself into a corner by nominating Bryant as the leadoff man? Kris Bryant does not serve well in that position, and Rossy is (or at least maybe) missing the boat if he allows Happ to bat late in the order.

Rossy can’t wait ten games to decide Bryant isn’t the right guy, as that equates to almost 17% of the season. Never mind that Bryant’s name is likely to start surfacing in trade rumors and talks again within the next couple of weeks. Ross has openly committed to KB, does removing him from the leadoff spot send a bad message to other teams who may be interested?

Rizzo was rocking as well, even if only on one knee. In the eighth inning, Rizzo had choked up, as he had two strikes against him. Then he saw his pitch. Rizzo dropped to a knee, extended out over the plate, and pulled the ball down the right-field line.

Rizzo also started on his journey to become the player most often nailed by pitches. That’s quite a feat, especially when you consider the rather large targets on the front of the Astros’ jerseys. Rizz also gets nominated for the Mr. Congeniality award, as he offered up some hand sanitizer to Orlando Arcia after Arcia reached on one of his three singles.

Cubs’ Birthdays: Miguel Socolovich (34), Jason Smith (43), Mike Adams (72), and posthumously, Preston Ward (93) and Joe Schultz (127).

Baseball Quotes: “The way it works in Chicago, either you’re a Cubs fan of you’re a White Sox fan. There’s no in-between. If you say that you’re a fan of both, you’re not a fan at all. You’re a bi-sox-ual.” – Richard Roeper

MLB NEWS AND NOTES

Around the NL Central: We know the Cubs smacked the Brewers 3-0, while the Cardinals barely edged the pirates by a final of 5-4. I told you to watch out for the Reds, and here they come. Granted, it was only the Tigers they beat, but they did it by a final of 7-1.

The Reds will play another pair at home against Detroit, followed by an extended homestand that will welcome the Cubs.

Like home runs? Who doesn’t? Here’s the best Opening Day 2020 had to offer.

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