Mike Loftus founded Elk Grove Village, Illinois-based MLE Merchandising & Sign Solutions in 2002 and has since grown it into a multimillion-dollar company with employees in 14 states. Beyond his role with MLE, Mike Loftus enjoys following his favorite Major League Baseball (MLB) team, the Chicago Cubs.
Led by pitcher Kyle Hendricks, the Cubs earned a shutout victory over the St. Louis Cardinals on May 3, 2019. Hendricks, who had come into the game with an uninspiring 5.33 earned run average (ERA), allowed only four hits and didn’t give up a single walk in the victory. Even more impressive, he needed only 81 pitches to get through the game.
It was not only the best start of Hendricks’ career, but the first shutout in which a pitcher threw 81 pitches or fewer since 2012, when Aaron Cook did so with the Boston Red Sox. Moreover, no Cubs pitcher had accomplished a shutout with as few pitches in 18 years.
Hendricks isn’t regarded as a power pitcher, and his fastest pitch during the shutout was registered at 88.3 mph. Instead, he commanded the zone with efficiency and pitched to contact, as 77.8 percent of his pitches were called strikes. The impressive performance lowered his ERA to 3.19.