Soft-tossing Cy Young candidate Hendricks confounds Pirates

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Starling Marté reacts after getting caught stealing in the fifth inning. - GETTY

CHICAGO -- Sometimes this game is complicated, like in Monday night's topsy-turvy 13-inning Cubs win that resembled a choose-your-own-adventure novel.

Sometimes it's simple, like when their starting pitcher outperforms your starting pitcher. Tuesday evening at Wrigley Field fit the latter model, with Kyle Hendricks stretching out his storybook season for another turn of the Cubs' rotation.

In a tidy two hours and 36 minutes, Chicago won its 21st game of the month and 84th of the season, 3-0. As the T-shirt told us last year, they are good, but Hendricks was particularly so on this night. And there's nothing more important than that in this game.

"He can basically hit a gnat in the ass," raved Jordy Mercer, dabbling in entomology. "If you can do that, you can get a lot of guys out."