Cubs’ Keegan Thompson appealing suspension for hitting Brewers’ Andrew McCutchen
Cubs manager David Ross served his automatic one-game suspension on Tuesday when the Cubs opened a two-game series against the Pirates.
PITTSBURGH — The Cubs still were feeling the effects of their weekend series against the Brewers on Tuesday, as manager David Ross left the field after the Pirates’ home-opener festivities at PNC Park.
Cubs reliever Keegan Thompson is appealing his three-game suspension for hitting the Brewers’ Andrew McCutchen with a pitch Saturday, but Ross served his automatic one-game suspension Tuesday. He gave pregame high-fives to his players in the dugout before heading for the tunnel.
‘‘There’s rules in place that we don’t have a whole lot of control of and some things that make you upset,’’ Ross said. ‘‘You can get mad about it, or you can understand, ‘What’s the point of wasting my energy on something I can’t control?’
‘‘Rules are rules. And we’re gonna continue to try to win ballgames and look out for our group and try to protect us as best we can and keep competing at the highest level. And sometimes I’ve got to kind of be the fall guy, as well. That’s fine.’’
Major League Baseball determined that Thompson intentionally threw at McCutchen in the eighth inning of the Cubs’ 9-0 victory Saturday at Wrigley Field. Brewers pitchers had hit three Cubs in the game, including outfielder Ian Happ, who left the game after taking a slider to the kneecap, and catcher Willson Contreras, who has been hit 15 times by Brewers pitchers in his career.
Benches cleared after Thompson hit McCutchen, and Thompson was ejected. His suspension will be delayed until the appeals process wraps up.
‘‘This is still a little like spring training,’’ Cubs pitching coach Tommy Hottovy said. ‘‘We’re still trying to improve on things. So if we have a guy working on a certain pitch and they think we’re trying to do something, how are they going to be able to judge that? I understand the context of what that was in, but that part of it’s tough.’’
No Brewers pitchers were disciplined.
When asked whether he thought the rules had been applied fairly on both sides, Ross said: ‘‘I’m not the judge or the jury.’’
Right-hander Alec Mills (strained lower back) threw 77 pitches in a simulated game Sunday. He was penciled in to throw a bullpen session Tuesday, but Ross said Mills had been feeling ‘‘under the weather,’’ which could affect his schedule.
Left-hander Wade Miley (inflammation in left elbow) played catch again, stretching out to more than 100 feet, Ross said. His next step will be to stretch out to 120 feet. If the feedback remains positive, he’ll throw off a mound after that.
Shortstop Andrelton Simmons (inflammation in right shoulder) was set to throw across the diamond as part of his throwing program.
‘‘He’s feeling better every day,’’ Ross said. ‘‘I know he feels positive, but we’re starting to ramp up the intensity, so that’ll give the best feedback here the next couple of days.’’