SAN FRANCISCO -- Cubs manager Joe Maddon said on Sunday that there was "nothing new" regarding the status of right-hander Kyle Hendricks, whose Game 2 start abruptly ended when he was struck on his pitching arm by a line drive.Maddon described Hendricks as still sore the day after, but the
SAN FRANCISCO -- Cubs manager Joe Maddon said on Sunday that there was "nothing new" regarding the status of right-hander Kyle Hendricks, whose Game 2 start abruptly ended when he was struck on his pitching arm by a line drive.
Maddon described Hendricks as still sore the day after, but the Cubs seem to have little concern about the issue lingering. Hendricks was not scheduled to start again in the National League Division Series anyway, which continues on Monday in San Francisco (FS1, 9:30 p.m. ET/8:30 p.m. CT). Should Chicago advance, the NL Championship Series wouldn't begin for another five days.
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"Kyle, yesterday, he said he felt fine," Maddon said, "so I don't anticipate anything really negative."
Before exiting Saturday's 5-2 win, Hendricks allowed two runs on four hits in 3 2/3 innings. He also drove in two with a second-inning bloop single.
Twice this series, infielder Javier Báez has started into his home run trot after blasting a pitch to left field. Only once, however, did that ball actually leave the park. That was on Friday, when the Wrigley Field outfield baskets aided Baez and the Cubs in an eventual 1-0 win.
But on Saturday, Baez's line drive struck the outfield wall. After jogging out of the batter's box, Baez couldn't recover. He eventually started hustling and dove into second, where he was initially called safe by umpire Marvin Hudson. That call was overturned after a replay review showed that Baez did not maintain constant contact with the base.
Though the mistake proved innocuous since the Cubs held on for the victory, it emerged as a teaching moment. So how did Maddon address it?
"I gave him a fist pump and looked him in the eye," Maddon said, "and he knew what that was all about. For me, it's very dangerous as a manager or a coach to coach instinct and whatever this guy has that nobody else has out of him, which I don't want to do. I never want to subtract from this guy. I just wanted to take what he has and harness it a little bit and understand situations to the point where [he's] not going to make that mistake. And it's all about him, and what he's thinking in the moment. We just covered that."
Baez, who is 3-for-6 in this series, heeded the message.
"Next time, no matter how hard I hit it, I'm going to try to get out of the box as soon as I can," Baez said. "If the ball is going, I'm going to run hard."
Lineup changes coming?
Through the first two games of this NLDS, Maddon has prioritized defense in his lineup construction. It's why Baez started both games at second and Ben Zobrist shifted to left. The only change from Game 1 to 2 was a backstop swap. David Ross caught Jon Lester, while Willson Contreras got the assignment with Hendricks. Miguel Montero will likely catch Jake Arrieta on Monday.
With runs expected to be at a premium against lefty Madison Bumgarner in Game 3, Maddon acknowledged that he may tweak Monday's lineup even more. If he wants another right-handed bat in the order, Maddon could give Jorge Soler his first postseason start. Soler is 0-for-3 with a walk lifetime against Bumgarner.
As of Sunday, Maddon hadn't finalized his plans.
"Definitely contemplating. Haven't decided yet," Maddon said before the Cubs' voluntary workout on Sunday at AT&T Park. "And I've been talking to different guys, getting varied opinions. It's one of those things where I don't want to take pencil to paper yet. I have feelings both ways, and I'm still looking for that thought that pushes you in a different direction. But I definitely have strong opinions about tomorrow, and I have been talking to different folks. So you may see something slightly altered."
Soler, Zobrist, Albert Almora Jr. and Contreras got some work in the outfield with bench coach Dave Martinez. Right field is the tricky spot at AT&T Park because of the indentations in the wall and the brick.
"The ball doesn't bounce very well off that wall and goes in different directions that I wasn't expecting it to," Soler said.
Zobrist uses his wife Julianna's song, "Alive," as his walk-up music, but before his second at-bat on Saturday at Wrigley Field, he had a new tune, "Bennie and the Jets," which his wife tweaked after she got Elton John's approval. If you listened closely, you would've heard the "Go Cubs Go" chant.
"If you add anything to that song, you have to get approval," Ben said. "[John] listened to it -- wherever he was around the world, he listened to her version of his song in the last day or so and then we got the go ahead. [Saturday] night was the first night we played it."
Julianna, a Christian musician, doesn't sing the whole song, and Ben said they may just use it as a ring tone once the baseball season is over.
Jenifer Langosch has been a reporter for MLB.com since 2007.
Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast.