WASHINGTON, D.C.: Washington Nationals’ skipper Dusty Baker talked briefly about Chicago Cubs’ starter Kyle Hendricks in Thursday’s pre-NLDS press conference with reporters.
Hendricks, 27, went (7-5) in 24 starts this season, and though he missed time on the DL with inflammation in his right middle finger, he posted a 3.03 ERA and a 3.88 FIP, with 40 walks (2.58 BB/9), 123 Ks (7.93 K/9), and a .239/.298/.372 line against in 139 2⁄3 IP on the year.
“He's a good pitcher. He's in the Greg Maddux mode: He throws strikes, and tempt-me strikes. He's a good pitcher. We'll just have to see,” Baker said.
Hendricks, who gave up five hits, two walks, and three earned runs in seven innings of work on the mound against the Nats in his one start against Washington in 2017, talked about going up against the NL East Champions when he spoke to reporters before the series opener.
“Just top to bottom I think, the strength, they are one of the best lineups in this league,” Hendricks said.
“But I think we're right up there with them, you know. So as far as myself trying to attack that lineup, you've got to make good pitches. You've got to be locked down every single pitch.
“Every one of those guys has a chance to beat you, so just got to get the game plan ready, make sure you attack and make good pitches.”
The biggest challenge he anticipates in going up against the Nationals?
“I would say just staying locked in every single pitch from top to bottom, even guys at the bottom of the order, they have a chance to beat you,” Hendrick said.
“In the playoffs, sometimes it's one pitch. That's the difference in the ballgame.
“So I would say just staying locked in from pitch one all the way until you're taken out. Maintain that level, really; if you can do that all game long, you'll be all right. But if you slip up for a second against these guys, they will take advantage of it so you've got to pay attention to the running game. They can do a lot of different things out there.
“They can hit and they can run, so you just have to pay attention all the way through the game and be ready for anything.”