Keegan Thompson made Cubs history in loss to White Sox
Keegan Thompson is redefining the “long relief” title in 2022.
Oftentimes, MLB teams employ a long relief option in the bullpen to eat up innings if a starting pitcher has to depart early, a game goes to extra innings or a number of other “break glass in case of emergency” type of scenario pops up.
But Thompson isn’t here just to eat innings. He’s a multi-inning weapon for the Cubs and made history Tuesday night during a frigid, wet night at Wrigley Field.
The right-hander came in to relieve spot starter/opener Scott Effross, tossing 3.2 innings and allowing 1 run — a solo homer to Tim Anderson through the biting wind.
It marked the 5th straight outing for Thompson of at least 3 innings and 1 or fewer runs. He is the first Cubs reliever to accomplish that feat since at least 1901.
Thompson has only allowed 2 runs all season in 20.1 innings, good for a 0.89 season ERA.
Keegan Thompson has been nails this season. pic.twitter.com/Tiio77x6Uh— Marquee Sports Network (@WatchMarquee) May 4, 2022
His game appearances read like this:
3.2 innings, 1 run (Tuesday)
3 IP, 1 R
4 IP, 0 R
3.2 IP, 0 R
3.1 IP, 0 R
2.2 IP, 0 R
The Cubs have clearly found a way to get the most of Thompson and his performance has been a serious boost for the pitching staff this season.
“When I was coming up, there was a long guy in the ‘pen that may have never really gotten used unless you’re up a lot or down a lot,” David Ross said earlier in the season. “And that was kind of like a wasteful spot down there. Now, that’s leverage length.
“He’s done a little bit of everything. It’s just an extremely valuable piece to have.”