The Brewers lost to the Cubs tonight, 3-0, and despite the shit show our country is, it was certainly nice to have the Brewers back in my eyeballs. I'm bummed about the loss, particularly because the Brewers appeared to be caught off-guard by Kyle Hendricks doing Kyle Hendricks things. The Brewers finished with 9 strikeouts through Hendricks complete game but after Yelich, Hiura, and Smoak all struck out in the 4th, Hendricks had already amassed 8 of them. Hendricks averaged fewer than 1 strikeout per inning in 2019 and through the first four innings of 2020, he averaged 2 and nearly all were on the changeup. The team looked ready to jump on Hendricks fastball, the only issue was that Hendricks wasn't throwing it.
Hendricks threw 103 pitches and had 19 swings and misses. If you're like me and you assumed that was an abnormally high amount of swings and misses for a Kyle Hendricks start, you'd be correct. Hendricks has only had more swings and misses in an outing twice in his career, the most recent coming last June against the Rockies. In all three of these outings, Hendricks has relied heavily on his changeup. Hendricks induced swings and misses on 27.3% of his changeups against the Brewers. In September of last year, Hendricks never recorded a start topping 20% swings and misses with the changeup, including one start that saw 1 swing and miss on 20 changeups. Simply put, the Brewers were aggressive and Hendricks had a really good changeup. I appreciated a sequence in the fourth with Yelich leading off that saw Hendricks fall behind 3-1. Hendricks threw him two straight changeups, a pitch Hendricks hadn't shown him yet in the at-bat, and Yelich was out in front of both, racking up his first of two strikeouts.
Woodruff pitched a great game. He gave up the one home run to Happ on a 3-1 count with a runner on and Kris Bryant on deck. That was a great piece of hitting by Happ. Most of the time, Woodruff's fastball is good enough to beat someone when they know it is coming. That time it was not.
I'm excited to see what Corbin brings us tomorrow night and I'm anxious to see this offense work. Like everyone else, I'm concerned that off nights from Hiura or Yelich really cripples this team offensively. For the immediate future, I'm rooting for Arcia to finish the season with a 1.000 batting average while the rest of the team finishes batting .000.