Kyle Hendricks continues mastery as Cubs top Brewers 6-2
BY GORDON WITTENMYER Staff Reporter September 3, 2014 10:10PM
Updated: September 4, 2014 2:23AM
They look almost as different as two players can look, the linebacker-looking, power-hitting Jorge Soler and the accountant-looking, finesse-pitching Kyle Hendricks.
But the two rookies who came up big again in the Cubs’ 6-2, series-sweeping victory Wednesday over the Brewers look a lot alike to manager Rick Renteria.
“If Kyle is my guy that’s got a low heartbeat on the hill, then maybe [Soler’s] my guy that really slows it down in the box as a hitter,” said Renteria, who watched Soler leg out his fifth double in seven big-league games that drove in two runs.
Hendricks? He had what he called “by far the worst stuff I’ve had” in 10 big-league starts but navigated constant traffic on the bases to get two outs deep into the sixth and help the Cubs win for the ninth time in one of his starts.
“He continued to show no panic,” Renteria said of the kid who learned before the game that he was the National League’s Rookie of the Month for August.
“You try to come in with the least amount of expectations as possible,” he said of whether he envisioned being this effective this quickly. “My focus is just making good pitches when I’m out there.”
The Cubs swept a contender (also the Orioles) for the second time in four series and are 9-4 in that stretch.
“If we keep this rolling, showing teams we can play going into next year, we’ll have something special,” said Chris Valaika, who homered in the second.
Kris Bryant, who leads pro baseball with 43 home runs, was named USA Today’s Minor League Player of the Year.
◆ Third baseman Mike Olt (hamstring) was scheduled to play Wednesday and Thursday in Class A Kane County’s playoff series as an injury-rehab stint, then get recalled for the series opener Friday against the Pirates.
◆ After determining outfielder Ryan Sweeney’s hamstring injury is likely to keep him sidelined the last 3½ weeks, the Cubs moved him to the 60-day disabled list to create a 40-man roster space and called up outfielder Ryan Kalish from Class AAA Iowa.
◆ Soler’s the second player in franchise history with at least 10 RBI in his first seven games ( Mandy Brooks , 12 in 1925).