Per STATS, Hendricks' 81 pitches were the fewest in a nine-inning complete-game shutout since Aaron Cook of the Boston Red Sox in 2012.
Stats By STATS @StatsBySTATS
The @Cubs' Kyle Hendricks threw 81 pitches in today's complete game shutout of the Cardinals. That's the fewest in a non-shortened CG SO since Aaron Cook did it with 81 pitches in 2012, and just the 8th with 81 pitches or fewer since 1988 (pitch-count era). #EverybodyIn https://t.co/istWuU8Fkd
Cook also threw 81 pitches, allowing just two hits with two strikeouts in a 5-0 win over the Seattle Mariners.
Hendricks picked apart the Cardinals lineup by throwing 63 of his 81 pitches for strikes. The six-year veteran only gave up four singles and had three strikeouts. He said after the game that taking advantage of St. Louis' aggressive approach helped him out:
The Cubs had to be thrilled with Hendricks' performance Friday. He got off to a slow start this season with a 5.33 ERA and 37 hits allowed in 25.1 innings over his first five games.
Hendricks has been one of the few Chicago starters who has struggled in 2019. Cole Hamels, Jose Quintana and Jon Lester all have ERAs under 3.50.
If Hendricks can continue to pitch like this, combined with an offense that's tied for second in MLB in runs scored, the Cubs have the potential to be one of the most dangerous teams in the league.