WRIGLEY FIELD — If you take a glance at Kyle Hendricks and the way he goes about his everyday routine, the 2016 league leader in ERA (2.13) is reminiscent of an ex-Cub who had a similar ERA(2.18) in 1992. Unless you’ve been living in Bedrock with Fred & Wilma Flintsone then you know I’m talking about the one and only….”Mad Dog” aka The Professor, Greg Maddux.
“It’s obvious if you just look at it straight up but I took more of his mental approach than anything,” Hendricks said. “I came in at the end (of his career) so I saw his last run with the Padres. I take most of his mental approach to the game. Since I can go back and watch his old interviews…he talks about his mental approach a lot. My main guys back then were Pedro Martinez & Jake Peavy.”
We donned Kyle as #PoetryInMotion because “The Professor”, though equally as fitting given his studious posture on the mound, had already been attached to Maddux. The nickname may be different but the mechanics & the technique are as Maddux-esque as you can get.
In four seasons on the north side, Hendricks has a 41-24 record with a 2.95 ERA and fans and critics alike wondering how close he can get to matching the numbers that “Mad Dog” put up. In Maddux’s illustrious 23 year career, he compiled a 355-227 record with a 3.16 ERA.
“I was watching one of old his old interviews where he had an ERA of 2.60 at the all star break. The guy says “so you’re having a down year.” Maddux goes “yeah give me 10 more bad years like this and I’ll take it.” Just goes to show the standard he set,” Hendricks said.
#PoetryInMotion and Maddux have another thing in common as well, they both love the throw the changeup. Kyle says it’s his favorite pitch to throw. “The changeup by far…2 seam or 4 seam. I just use the 2 seam fastball grip and just switch it to my changeup grip. Same thing with the 4 seam.”
“It’s all about precision and taking it pitch by pitch. To be able to locate the ball like he did you gotta be fucking special. Thats another form of locked in. I’m nowhere near that right now.”
Keep working my boy….keep working!
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