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Cubs’ Kyle Hendricks looks, feels back to normal after break

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Cubs’ Kyle Hendricks looks, feels back to normal after break

A prescribed break appears to be exactly what the doctor ordered Cubs starter Kyle Hendricks.

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With off days built into their schedule, the Cubs skipped Hendricks’ recent turns in the rotation, giving him time to rest his fatigued shoulder following a shortened spring training and his heavy early-season workload.

Tuesday was his 13th day since he returned to the plate to face the NL West heavyweight Padres. He did well, throwing five-plus innings with no walks and six strikeouts.

“It benefited me a ton health wise,”Hendricks expressed concern about the time off. “I feel back to 100 percent normal. 

“That was huge from Rossy (Cubs manager David Ross) to find that window there with a couple off days to have me skip a start and really decrease my volume a lot. 

“I feel back to normal, so now should be good to go.”

Hendricks’ 2022 season has been inconsistent. He started with two poor starts, while Hendricks entered the day with a 5.22 ERA after 11 innings.

Over his previous four starts entering Tuesday, he allowed 15 earned runs in 19 2/3 innings — including seven in a five-inning start last month.

Tuesday was more emblematic of the guy he’s been and the guy the Cubs need him to be.

“It was good to have him back,” Ross said.

Hendricks was not kind to the elements; he took to the mound to 94 degrees at Wrigley Field. The Padres fought hard in the first inning, despite striking out three times.

 

Hendricks threw 27 pitch, while San Diego fouled off 11. Over his last four-plus innings, he threw 51 pitches.
 
“With how hot it was, just trying to take a deep breath, deliver and execute a good pitch,”Hendricks spoke of the first. “Once I got through that, it was nice to have a couple quick innings late to kind of make up for that.”

Ross stated that Hendricks threw a pair bullpens during his off-season. His pitch count ranged from 85 to 85. Ross stated that he was going batter-to-bat with Hendricks in the sixth inning due to the weather.

Hendricks stated that he was feeling tired in the sixth when he allowed Jake Cronenworth to leadoff double, which ended his night.

“I left that pitch up and that was maybe the one bad pitch for me over the plate,” Hendricks said. “Overall, I felt health-wise great and stamina-wise real good there for a while. 

“My stuff and my mechanics felt really good. Gotta get back into the routine now and get my pitch count back up.”

The Cubs bullpen was brutal last night. The Padres scored 12 runs after Hendricks exited, and only one was charged to him — Cronenworth.

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“I wish I had something. They’ve been really good,”Ross spoke highly of the bullpen. “I’m not gonna sit up here and make some excuse or something. They weren’t good and we’ll be back in there tomorrow.”

The bullpen wasn’t good, but there was a lot to like from Hendricks’ outing. 

“I really got to establish that consistency, like I’ve been saying, start to start so the team can know what to expect every time I take the ball,”He said.

“That’s a huge pride aspect for me. This is a good one to start but gotta keep going and got a lot more to go.”

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