Kyle Hendricks completes a great month of May in the Cubs’ win over the Astros

HOUSTON, TEXAS - MAY 29: Kyle Hendricks #28 of the Chicago Cubs pitches in the first inning against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park on May 29, 2019 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)

HOUSTON – It was a series in which the pitching took a back seat to big offense, and one where the hosts had more for the opponents in the first two games.

Not even Cole Hamels or Jon Lester could find their way over the course of a pair of games at Minute Maid Park, as the Astros won both contests over the Cubs by scoring 15 combined runs.

Luckily the team’s pitching “professor” was able to give his opponents a lesson in great pitching during the interleague series finale on Wednesday – and in the process concluded an incredible month on the mound.

Kyle Hendricks allowed just a single run over eight innings of work and was able to make a pair of early home runs by Kyle Schwarber and Kris Bryant hold up in a 2-1 victory over the Astros in Houston. After two days of struggle, Steve Cishek worked a drama-free ninth for the save as the Cubs snapped  a three-game losing streak that dated back to Sunday’s defeat at the hands of the Reds at Wrigley Field.

It puts the Cubs in a good mood as they get Thursday off before starting a three-game series with the Cardinals in St. Louis. Meanwhile, it gives the team and fans a chance to reflect on quite a month for a pitcher. He allowed nine earned runs in his six outings during the month with 37 strikeouts compared to just five walks, sporting an ERA of 1.96 coming into Wednesday’s game with the Astros.

Hendricks improved that in his outing, allowing just one run over the course of eight innings as he struck out seven batters with just one walk. A sacrifice fly by Josh Reddick in the fourth inning was all that the pitcher would allow during his time on the mound as his record improved to 4-0 in the month of May and 5-4 overall in 2019 with a 3.09 ERA.

It was the fourth time in six starts during the month that Hendricks went at least eight innings in a start – picking up a win during all of those efforts. Hendricks’ best performance was his first of the month against the Cardinals, when he pitched a complete game shutout of the Cardinals at Wrigley Field in just 81 pitches.

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