PHOENIX -- Cubs manager Joe Maddon knows it wasn't a popular choice to pull Kyle Hendricks one out away from a complete game on Monday night. All that mattered to Hendricks was that the Cubs got the win.Hendricks threw a gem for 8 2/3 innings, holding the D-backs to three
PHOENIX -- Cubs manager Joe Maddon knows it wasn't a popular choice to pull Kyle Hendricks one out away from a complete game on Monday night. All that mattered to Hendricks was that the Cubs got the win.
Hendricks threw a gem for 8 2/3 innings, holding the D-backs to three hits in a 5-1 victory at Chase Field.
The right-hander had limited the D-backs to one hit -- a double by Eduardo Escobar with one out in the fourth -- while throwing 95 pitches over eight innings. A.J. Pollock launched No. 97 to right field to spoil the shutout bid with a leadoff homer in the ninth. Two outs later, Paul Goldschmidt's single prompted Maddon to come out of the dugout. Justin Wilson was called on to close the game against Daniel Descalso.
"I thought that was about right right there," Maddon said. "What if [Descalso] hits 10 foul balls or whatever and all of a sudden [Hendricks] has thrown 115 pitches? You don't want to see that."
Hendricks finished with eight strikeouts and threw 109 pitches.
Cubs starting pitchers have been on a good roll over the last month, combining for a 2.79 ERA since Aug. 16.
"It's nice to all be coming together," Hendricks said. "We're making a lot of good pitches out there now. We're pitching to the game plan really good."
Hendricks, who retired the first 10 batters he faced, has been in a groove.
"That was classic Kyle. Wow," Maddon said. "We've seen him that sharp in the past. Look at the gun -- you see 88, 89 [mph] the whole game and see bad swings by the hitters. It's wonderful if he pitches a complete game, but you have to consider if foul ball, foul ball, foul ball, and all of a sudden it doesn't look as much fun. This was a perfect night for him."
The D-backs were puzzled and impressed.
"Just his command," Goldschmidt said. "It just felt like he wasn't throwing anything up or in the middle of the plate, he was keeping the ball down. His ball has a lot of movement on it, whether it's the fastball or changeup, and he was putting it where he wanted to. He did a good job."
Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat.