The Cubs’ two ‘professors’

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On this day in 2004, Greg Maddux beat the San Francisco Giants to became the 22nd pitcher in MLB history to reach 300 wins.

Twelve years later, there is a new “Professor” on the North Side in Kyle Hendricks.

Hendricks’ intelligence and Dartmouth roots earned him the nickname Maddux earned through his meticulous and precise approach on the mound.

However, that isn’t to say that Hendricks doesn’t have a little “Mad Dog” in him.

Kyle Hendricks #28 and Miguel Montero #47 of the Chicago Cubs celebrate a win over the Philadelphia Phillies at Wrigley Field on May 28, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois. The Cubs defeated the Phillies 4-1. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Hendricks has certainly come into his own this season, making a case for himself to move ahead of John Lackey as the Cubs’ third starter and at this point of the season, his numbers look eerily familiar.

Hendricks, like Maddux, does not overpower opposing batters, but relies on scouting reports and one of the most effective change-ups in the MLB.

Through 20 games in 1992, Maddux, who at the time was 26, shared strikingly similar statistics as the current 26-year-old Hendricks.

GS IP W L ERA ER H K BB BABIP K/9 BB/9
Maddux  20  150.1 11  8 2.33 39  104  106  40 .236 6.35 2.39
Hendricks  20  125.2 10  7 2.22  31 98  108 35 .257 7.73 2.51

 

The 1992 season was Maddux’s last year in his first stint with the Cubs and the first of his four consecutive Cy Young Awards.

Similarly, with the second lowest ERA in the NL only behind Clayton Kershaw, who was on a historic pace until injuring himself on June 26, Hendricks has been garnering Cy Young attention for the first time in his career.

In an era of home runs and power arms, nearly two decades apart, Hendricks and Maddux remain shining examples of how effective calculated finesse pitching can be.

Hendricks will take the mound in start No. 21 of the year today against the Oakland Athletics at 3:05 on WGN.

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