PITTSBURGH – The Cubs were still feeling the effects of this weekend’s bout with Brewers on Tuesday, as manager David Ross exited the field after PNC Park’s home opener festivities.
Cubs pitcher Keegan Thompson is appealing his three-game suspension for hitting Brewers outfielder Andrew McCutchen on Saturday. But Ross served his automatic one-game suspension on 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, and you can get mad about it, or you can understand, ‘what’s the point of wasting my energy on something I can’t control?” Ross said. “Rules are rules. And we’re gonna continue to try to win ball games, 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 win Saturday at Wrigley Field. Brewers pitchers had hit three Cubs batters in the game, including outfielder Ian Happ, who left the game after taking a slider to the kneecap, and Willson Contreras, who has been hit 15 times by Brewers pitchers in his career, by far the most of any team.
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 if he thought the rules had been applied fairly on both sides, Ross said: “I’m not the judge or the jury.”
Cubs right-hander Alec Mills (low back strain) threw 77 pitches in a sim game Sunday. He was penciled in to throw a bullpen Tuesday, but Ross said Mills had been feeling “under the weather,” which could affect his schedule.
Lefty Wade Miley (left elbow inflammation) played catch again on Tuesday, stretching out to over 100 feet, according to Ross. His next step will be to stretch out to 120 feet. If the feedback remains positive, he’ll throw off a mound after that.
Cubs shortstop Andrelton Simmons (right shoulder inflammation) was set to throw across the baseball diamond on Tuesday 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, and so that’ll give the best feedback here the next couple days.”