Chicago Cubs pitcher Keegan Thompson and manager David Ross have been suspended and fined after Major League Baseball deemed that Thompson intentionally plunked Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Andrew McCutchen on Saturday. Thompson is slated to miss three games and Ross one. Both suspensions will begin on Tuesday, with the exception being whether Thompson appeals the ruling.
Thompson, 27 years old, hit McCutchen in the rear with a 2-1 fastball in the eighth inning of an in-progress boat race. McCutchen took exception to the act and jawed with both Thompson and catcher Willson Contreras as he made his way to first base. Both benches cleared to show support for their teammate. Thompson, for his part, was ejected by the umpires.
Here’s the scene as it played out in moving pictures:
The Cubs and Brewers have a recent history of hitting one another with pitches. The half-inning prior to McCutchen’s plunking saw Ian Happ get hit by a pitch. Contreras, as our Matt Snyder noted on Saturday, has been hit by pitches thrown by Brewers 15 times in his career, including twice already this season.
“I don’t think there was any intent on anybody’s hit-by-pitches today except for one,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said after the game. “I think both sides will tell you that. Benches clear when there’s somebody intentionally thrown at, and that’s what happened today.”
Thompson is in his second big-league season. Overall, he’s appeared in 33 games and has accumulated a 3.21 ERA (133 ERA+) and a 1.84 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
The Cubs will begin a six-game road trip on Tuesday that involves them playing a pair of games in Pittsburgh against the Pirates before heading out to face the Colorado Rockies for four games. The latter series is notable as it will see Chicago face off against Kris Bryant for the first time since he signed with the Rockies.