Cubs starter Keegan Thompson limited to four innings Sunday

Cubs notes: Ross defends Wrigley Field

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Keegan Thompson

Keegan Thompson #71 of the Chicago Cubs throws a pitch during the second inning of a game against the Boston Red Sox at Wrigley Field on July 03, 2022 in Chicago, Illinois.

Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images

Poor defensive support cost Keegan Thompson a shot at pitching deeper Sunday, but the Cubs’ starter absorbed his share of the blame for a four-inning stint.

“The whole day I really didn’t have command of my pitches,” said Thompson, who departed after 86 pitches. “I wasn’t really hitting spots much. Usually if I’m hitting my spots, those two-strike pitches are put-away pitches instead of the weak contact and infield hits. The fourth just caught up with me.”

Thompson threw 37 pitches in the fourth, thanks to a ball that was lost in the sun and wind by rookie second baseman Christopher Morel that was eventually dropped by first baseman Alfonso Rivas.

Franchy Cordero was credited with a hit that tied the game at 1, and Thompson later walked Jarren Duran with the bases loaded and two out. 

Wrigley all right with Ross

Social media didn’t exist in 1996 when Giants left-hander Allen Watson said Wrigley Field was a “joke” and they should “burn it down” after he allowed five home runs he suggested were wind-aided.

But Red Sox rookie Josh Winckowski created an internet brushfire late Saturday night when he described Wrigley as “a little underwhelming” and “stock standard” to beat writers.

Cubs manager David Ross, who won World Series titles as a catcher at Boston’s Fenway Park and Wrigley, was amused by Winckowski’s comments.

“My experience in both parks is very amazing,” said Ross, who compared the festive atmosphere and scenario in Saturday’s game to what he witnessed at Fenway Park in 2008 and 2013-14. 

Ross, however, wouldn’t be goaded by a reporter into suggesting the Cubs trade for Winckowski so he could get a larger sampling of Wrigley.

“He’s a pretty good pitcher, so you talk to [general manager] Jed Hoyer about trades,” Ross said. “I stay out of it.

“I don’t know his [Winckowski’s] experiences, but I appreciate this place a lot. I’ve got a lot of history here, and this is one of the best I’ve been around.”

Medical madness in Milwaukee

First baseman Frank Schwindel and second baseman Nick Madrigal will take live batting practice against left-hander Daniel Norris before Tuesday’s game in Milwaukee and that could determine who is ready to start a minor-league rehab assignment.

“I’ll treat [pregame] Monday as if it were a normal day game,” said Schwindel, who said his back feels fine. Madrigal (left groin strain) has run the bases recently with no signs of discomfort. Norris (left finger sprain) isn’t eligible to be activated from the 15-day injured list until Friday.

Marcus Stroman allowed five runs on seven hits in 2‰ innings against Columbus in a rehab start for Triple-A Iowa. Stroman, who hasn’t pitched for the Cubs in a month due to right shoulder inflammation, thought he might need one start before returning, but the team will assess his status this week.

As expected, pitcher Alec Mills was placed on the 15-day IL with a low back strain suffered Saturday. Reliever Michael Rucker was recalled from Iowa.

Left-hander Drew Smyly (right oblique strain) will pitch Monday for Class-A South Bend on a rehab assignment. 

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