Cubs' Hendricks looking for road success in start vs. Miami
Kyle Hendricks is quietly having a very good year for the Cubs as long as he's pitching at Wrigley Field. On Friday, the right-hander will be on the road against the Marlins, who will counter with Tom Koehler.
This month, Hendricks is 2-2 with a 2.96 ERA in four starts. He's done much better at Wrigley, compiling a 4-1 record and 1.93 ERA at home while he's 1-5 with a 4.36 ERA on the road. In his last start, Hendricks struck out a career-high 12 batters in a win over the Pirates at Wrigley.
Koehler also set a personal high in his last start, but it wasn't one he'd like to savor. The right-hander walked six over six scoreless innings against the Rockies, holding them to two hits.
"I think Tom has thrown the ball well all year," Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. "He had that one [bad] outing against Milwaukee. Other than that, when he's pitched, we've had a chance to win. He's been a little more aggressive in the strike zone."
Koehler's roughest outing was on May 1 at Milwaukee, when he gave up eight runs in 2 1/3 innings. But he's won three straight starts. The right-hander has struggled finding the plate at times this year. He had a stretch of four straight starts of walking five, and in his last outing, a win over the Rockiers, he walked six, but didn't allow a run in six innings.
This month, Koehler has a 3-1 record and 2.63 ERA in four starts, and all four have been quality starts.
Things to know about this game
• The Marlins don't have much history facing Hendricks. But shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria and center fielder Marcell Ozuna are each 2-for-6 with a double against the Cubs' right-hander.
• Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo is day to day because of tightness in his lower back, that sidelined him on Thursday. Rizzo also was scratched from a June 10 game in Atlanta because of his back, but said this discomfort was different and he may need more time. The Cubs have a few options at first, including Kris Bryant, Javier Baez and rookie Willson Contreras.
• Cubs reliever Justin Grimm served up four runs over one-third of an inning in his last outing, and manager Joe Maddon said the right-hander's fastball velocity is down and he's had trouble command his breaking pitches. That's not a good combination. Maddon said they're hoping Grimm can get back on track with some side work.
• Chicago catcher Miguel Montero tweaked his right knee in an awkward play at home plate on Wednesday. The Cubs match David Ross with Jon Lester, who started Thursday, but Maddon has had Montero catch Hendricks.