Cubs' Hendricks dominates Cardinals with 81-pitch shutout
Quinn Harris / Getty Images Sport / Getty

The Chicago Cubs sent the Professor to the mound Friday, and class was immediately in session.

In a matinee against the St. Louis Cardinals at Wrigley Field, Kyle Hendricks totally stifled the division rival in a complete-game shutout, allowing four hits and no walks on only 81 pitches.

Hendricks' dominance over the Cardinals qualifies as the league's first "Maddux" of the 2019 season. Invented by Jason Lukehart, a Maddux is any complete-game shutout in which a starter throws fewer than 100 pitches.

Friday's performance was the seventh-most efficient Maddux of all time by pitch count, according to Lukehart.

It was a rebound performance for the right-hander after he allowed seven runs on 10 hits his last time out, but he remained humble after the fact.

"I just got a little bit lucky today, honestly," Hendricks said, according to Andrew Seligman of The Associated Press. "I made a lot of good pitches early. ... I got away with a few. But overall, the focus on just making a good pitch was a lot better today."

It goes down as the 13th Maddux in Cubs history and first of Hendricks' career. Greg Maddux - the namesake of the feat - leads the club with three, Carlos Zambrano threw two, and seven others have tossed one each. The most recent one in Cubs history - by Zambrano - was thrown on Sept. 25, 2009.

Hendricks threw 63 of 81 pitches for strikes and recorded a trio of strikeouts on the day.

The 29-year-old is now 2-4 to start the season with a 3.93 ERA and 3.39 FIP over 34 1/3 innings.

Cubs' Hendricks dominates Cardinals with 81-pitch shutout
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