Chicago Cubs pitcher Kyle Hendricks was masterful in his Opening Day start for the club on Friday night, and he was able to achieve something that no other pitcher has pulled off for more than 130 years.
Hendricks threw a complete game shutout for the Cubs as they knocked off the Milwaukee Brewers at Wrigley Field, striking out nine batters and scattering just three hits in the 3-0 triumph at the Friendly Confines.
According to STATS Inc., Hendricks, who was making his first Opening Day start for the North Siders, became the first pitcher to throw an Opening Day complete game shutout with nine or more strikeouts, zero walks, and three or fewer hits allowed since Ledell Titcomb pulled off that feat for the New York Giants on April 20, 1888.
The incredible feats for Hendricks didn’t stop there, either. According to Tim Stebbins of NBC Sports Chicago, Hendricks’ complete game shutout is the first for a Cubs pitcher on Opening Day since April 1974, when Bill Bonham did the honors against the Philadelphia Phillies.
According to Jesse Rogers of ESPN, Hendricks is one of only two pitchers in the last 30 seasons to throw an Opening Day shutout without conceding a walk, joining Los Angeles Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw in that exclusive club.
Hendricks’ Cubs will hope to keep the good times rolling on Saturday when Yu Darvish takes the hill against the Brewers in the second game of a three-game series at Wrigley Field.