SAN FRANCISCO -- Cubs right-hander Kyle Hendricks, who took a line drive off of his pitching arm in Game 2 of the National League Division Series, played catch on Tuesday for the first time since he was struck."Good to go," Hendricks said as he walked off the field at AT&T
SAN FRANCISCO -- Cubs right-hander Kyle Hendricks, who took a line drive off of his pitching arm in Game 2 of the National League Division Series, played catch on Tuesday for the first time since he was struck.
"Good to go," Hendricks said as he walked off the field at AT&T Park following his workout under the supervision of the Cubs' medical staff and pitching coach Chris Bosio.
On Saturday, Hendricks hit a two-run single before leaving the game with two out in the Giants' half of the fourth inning after taking a line drive off the bat of Ángel Pagán. Pagan's hit had an exit velocity of 94 mph.
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Montgomery big for bullpen
The Cubs' bullpen was in good shape for Game 4 on Tuesday despite manager Joe Maddon having to call on six of the seven relievers in Game 3 on Monday. Only Carl Edwards Jr. did not pitch, but he did warm up. Mike Montgomery took the loss, serving up Joe Panik's RBI single in the 13th, but he saved the day as far as the Cubs were concerned.
"That was huge," starter Jake Arrieta said of Montgomery's four innings. "We needed that. We needed to keep him in the game to avoid going elsewhere. ... It was going to come down to who got the big hit and they were able to."
Montgomery's longest outing with the Cubs was six innings on Sept. 15 against the Brewers when he was the sixth man in the rotation. The lefty, acquired on July 20 in a trade with the Mariners for Dan Vogelbach, said the pitch to Panik just missed.
"It was supposed to be down and away, and it was up and away or maybe middle-middle," Montgomery said. "I tried to get the ground ball to the left side of the infield and keep the runner on second. Unfortunately it was up toward the middle of the plate and he got it."
Montgomery admitted to having more nerves than usual in his first inning of work and his teammates helped him get through the four innings.
"They said, 'Hey, you've got this, you're the guy. Keep going out there and making good pitches,'" Montgomery said. "That was my mindset and I felt pretty good and pretty comfortable after that."
Rizzo looking to break out
After batting .292 in the regular season, Anthony Rizzo entered Tuesday 0-for-13 in the postseason through Game 3.
"It's baseball," Rizzo said. "Obviously, I have not had the best three games to start off."
Rizzo has had a few chances. He was 0-for-7 with runners on, and 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position.
"Every run you can push across, you have to try and take advantage of," Rizzo said. "But it's not easy. Their job is to get us out. Our job is to hit the ball."
Maddon wasn't concerned.
"He just has to be more patient," Maddon said. "I think they've chosen to not really challenge him now. He has to stay in the zone."
It's tough being on top
Maddon is well aware that the team with the best record does not always fare well in the postseason.
"The unrealistic expectation is to win 11 straight games," Maddon said. "One of the biggest points I did make in our meeting before this series began was that something is going to go wrong. Trust me, it's going to go wrong, and we have to maintain our composure and stay in the present tense. We did, we came back in that game [Monday] night and tied it up. I thought we handled the moment extremely well."
• According to Elias, Giants hitters Conor Gillaspie and Brandon Crawford were the third pair of left-handed batters to get hits off Aroldis Chapman in one game.
• No one should be surprised at Arrieta's hitting ability. He was second in the NL in batting average (.262) among pitchers, was tied for third in homers (two) and finished with seven RBIs in the regular season.
• The veterans in the Cubs' clubhouse definitely keep the youngsters under control. Said Maddon: "Our upperclassmen, they take care of the frosh."
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.