Kyle Hendricks looking forward after ‘emotional day’ at Wrigley

Hendricks seeks return to normal after Cubs return originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

Chicago Cubs pitcher Kyle Hendricks took the mound at Wrigley Field for the first time in nearly 11 months on Thursday, and though he didn’t come out on top in a blowout 10-1 defeat at the hands of the New York Mets, the fact he was able to make the start was a small victory.

Hendricks, who suffered a capsular tear in his right shoulder last season, hadn’t pitched in a game since July 5, 2022, and he says it was an emotional day at the Friendly Confines.

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“There was a lot of buildup to that one. It was an emotional day, building up to it, but at the end of the day, just getting back to this point and getting back out there was number one,” he said.

Hendricks threw 86 pitches and last 4.1 innings in his first outing back, striking out five batters and walking two while giving up three earned runs.

The outing included a tough third inning for Hendricks, who gave up four consecutive two-out singles as the Mets grabbed a lead that they would never relinquish.

Despite the results, which saw him yield the four straight hits on changeups, Hendricks says that he was happy with the way he executed the pitches.


“I executed those, and they got soft contact, which was what I was looking for,” he said. “Just need to do better in a baseball sense, of locking in on the task at hand, finishing that inning and getting guys back in the dugout.”

Hendricks also showed some of the improved velocity that he’s been working on during the offseason, but conceded that he sometimes got out of his mechanics during his first outing back on the mound.

“When I’m doing the things I need to do, it’s there,” he said.

Now, Hendricks will have a normal rest period before his next scheduled start, which comes Tuesday against the Tampa Bay Rays at Wrigley Field. That return to normalcy will feel good for the veteran hurler after what was a big day at the ballpark.

“I’m looking to get back to work this week, have my rhythm and my routine, and just to get back to normal,” he said.

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