Kyle Hendricks is three starts into his MLB career, but he's already being linked to one of the best pitchers of all time.
On the day Greg Maddux was inducted in the Baseball Hall of Fame, Hendricks tossed a gem at Wrigley Field, suffering the tough-luck loss despite allowing just one run in 6.1 innings. With the outing, Hendricks lowered his ERA to 2.33 and WHIP to 1.19 in the first 19.1 innings of his big-league career.
Over the weekend, former Cubs ace and current ESPN analyst Rick Sutcliffe joined the CSN broadcast after singing the Seventh Inning Stretch and paid Hendricks some high praise.
Sutcliffe, who won the 1984 NL Cy Young with the Cubs, said he changed his flight around so he could stick around to see Hendricks' start on Sunday.
"It's all about makeup," Sutcliffe said. "I was here in '86 when a guy named Greg Maddux showed up. I was in Baltimore in '92 for Mike Mussina's first year. It's not the same stuff - it's not the velocity or whatever.
"But it's the same kind of makeup. The tougher the situation, the less you will see the catcher's glove move and the better pitch he's gonna make."
Hendricks said after his start Sunday that he models his game after Maddux, getting by on intelligence and pinpoint control rather than reaching the upper 90s on the radar gun.