The exceptional performance of Kyle Hendricks left his team and his audience in awe. Even though it missed being a Maddux by only three pitches, the nine strikeouts and nineteen swinging strikes out of the Hundred and three pitches were no less amazing.
There wasn’t any walk and the number of hits remained at three. His strike rate of the day has been established as 18.4%, still 2% more than the rate of any pitcher in the last season.
The most outstanding strikeout was the picture-perfect one against Hiura. It went up and in with the two-seamer, and immediately came down with the curveball. Both pitches looked the same to Hiura when he got the time to commit. The pitch-placement was unbelievably perfect:
Kyle Hendricks, 89mph Two Seamer and 74mph Curveball, Overlay. pic.twitter.com/CCXPXjx2zf
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) July 24, 2020
He also netted 12 groundouts against four flyouts, which makes his groundball rate 61.9%.
According to ‘Stats by STATS’ who posted on their Twitter handle, “Tonight Kyle Hendricks of the @Cubs became the first pitcher to throw a CG shutout with 9+ strikeouts, 0 walks and 3 or fewer hits allowed on Opening Day since Ledell Titcomb did so for the New York Giants on April 20, 1888.”