If you’re going by only the box score, you’d probably think Keegan Thompson was excellent against the Nationals tonight: 6.0 IP, 5H, 1ER, 0 BB, 3Ks. But the reality is that he was hit extremely hard all night long – by one of the worst offenses in MLB – while dealing with some depressed velocity on all of his pitches. If it wasn’t for the wind blowing in and some perfectly placed defenders, this could’ve looked a lot worse.
Now, that’s not to say there weren’t bright spots – and that’s certainly not to say there isn’t plenty of value in a guy grinding his way through an outing *successfully* without his best stuff – but it’s just an important thing to call out when we see it; the same way we do when the circumstances are flipped and a pitcher is unlucky in terms of results relative to his peripherals.
Tomorrow, we’ll dig a little deeper into that performance and what it might mean for how much/often Thompson pitches from here on out.
But, hey, this was a win. We don’t need to focus on the negatives.
Offensively, it was nice to see the Cubs scored early and often, including homers for Nelson Velázquez and Chris Morel, but it was even nicer to see them keep their foot on the gas with some late insurance, because they eventually needed it.
Individually, Velázquez had his first career three-hit game, Nick Madrigal had his first career two-walk game, Seiya Suzuki had a nice opposite field line drive (and also a sac fly), and, of course, the Cubs got themselves thrown out on the bases … twice. That’s kind of their thing this year.
Other than that, Rowan Wick came in for the save, peppering the inside corner with some heat, and the Cubs won on a strike-him-out, throw-him-out double play! I’ll take it. Go Cubs. Good win.