CHICAGO -- There's no place like Wrigley Field for Kyle Hendricks.The Cubs' right-hander improved to 7-1 at home with a 1.36 ERA on Wednesday after a 6-2 victory over the Mets. Hendricks struck out seven and scattered seven hits over 6 1/3 innings on a scorching hot day.In 66 1/3
CHICAGO -- There's no place like Wrigley Field for Kyle Hendricks.
The Cubs' right-hander improved to 7-1 at home with a 1.36 ERA on Wednesday after a 6-2 victory over the Mets. Hendricks struck out seven and scattered seven hits over 6 1/3 innings on a scorching hot day.
In 66 1/3 innings pitched at Wrigley, he's given up 10 earned runs, and Hendricks ranks second to the Dodgers' Clayton Kershaw in home ERA.
"It's just being comfortable, I think," said Hendricks, who notched his career-high ninth win. "On the road, I'm trying to get that. I think I've come out at home aggressive and putting a zero up in the first [inning] and our offense has taken over from there."
Said catcher Miguel Montero: "The way he's pitching to me, it doesn't matter where he pitches. He's been outstanding."
Hendricks' outing also continued a good trend for the Cubs, who relied on their starting pitcher in the first two months to open a comfortable lead in the National League Central. In six games since the All-Star break, Cubs starting pitchers have posted a 1.54 ERA, giving up seven earned runs over 41 innings.
Hendricks has won two games since the break, and since June 19, he has a Major League-best 0.72 ERA, giving up three earned runs over 37 1/3 innings.
"I'm really just focused on what I can control," Hendricks said. "Lately, that's been simplifying everything. I feel good with my mechanics. I feel good with the rapport I've had with Willson [Contreras] and Miggy behind the plate. It's just picking up where I left off every start."
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.