Hendriks proud to be Australian K king

September 13th, 2019

HOUSTON -- When closed out Wednesday’s 5-3 win over the Astros by getting Abraham Toro to chase a slider in the dirt for strike three, he broke a record that stood for nearly two decades.

The strikeout was Hendriks’ 112th of 2019, surpassing the record for most strikeouts in a season by an Australian-born pitcher. The record was previously held by Damian Moss, who struck out 111 batters as a member of the Braves' starting rotation in 2002.

“Damian Moss had a hell of a year that year with the Braves, and to be able to take over that place is a cool thing,” Hendriks said. “I never thought it would be something I could do, especially working out of the bullpen. Hopefully this can get some credit back home for Australian baseball and get more kids over here.

“The record lasted 17 years, but hopefully this one gets blown out of the water by another guy quickly.”

In a year he was selected to his first All-Star Game at age 30, becoming just the third Australian-born All-Star in MLB history, the accolades just keep on coming for Hendriks, both on and off the field.

Before Thursday’s series finale against the Astros, Hendriks also learned of his nomination by the A’s for the Roberto Clemente Award, an annual recognition of a Major League player who best represents the game of baseball through extraordinary character, community involvement, philanthropy and positive contributions, both on and off the field.

Hendriks’ community involvement makes him the ideal candidate. He has teamed up with his wife, Kristi, to work with several charities in an effort help bring awareness to numerous causes. Two organizations Hendriks said he’s particularly passionate about are Players for Pits, which helps pit bull-type dogs captured by animal control find families; and Strikeout Bullying, which benefits the Stand For The Silent program that addresses the issue of bullying in school.

“You don’t come into the season looking for any awards or accolades, but it helps to know that the charities we work with will get some recognition from it,” Hendriks said. “It brings awareness to the issues we brought forward. That’s the biggest thing, not recognition for myself, but for the charities we work with.”

Hendriks' manager is happy for him.

“This has been his best year. Not only has he moved into the closer’s role and responded beautifully by pitching better than he ever has, he’s also up for a cool award like this,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said. “I know he’s proud of it, and so are we. He deserves all the accolades he’s getting to this point.”

A’s planning Luzardo’s next outing

After working three innings out of the bullpen in an electric Major League debut on Wednesday night at Minute Maid Park, Jesus Luzardo will get a few days of rest before making another appearance.

There is no set date for the 21-year-old to pitch again, but Melvin indicated that the earliest the left-hander will be available will be Sunday in the finale of a three-game series with the Rangers at Globe Life Park.

“We’ll let him marinate for a day,” Melvin said. “We’re still talking about it. We’ll let him bask a little bit.”