Cullman’s Thompson makes 1st career start against Dodgers

Cullman’s Keegan Thompson tossed 3.2 scoreless innings in his first career start against the Los Angeles Dodgers Tuesday night. (Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports)

CHICAGO, Ill. – Former Cullman and Auburn baseball star Keegan Thompson made his first career start for the Chicago Cubs against the defending champion Los Angeles Dodgers at Wrigley Field Tuesday night and kept the defending champs off the board for nearly four innings. Thompson tossed 3.2 scoreless innings, allowing two hits, two walks and striking out two batters in the start before being relieved by Rex Brothers in the fourth. Thompson collected his first major league strikeout when he caught Max Muncy looking in the second inning.

After the Cubs defeated the Dodgers 4-3 in walk-off fashion, Thompson spoke to the media about his first major league start at Wrigley Field. Thompson was facing a stout lineup Tuesday night and admitted he had some nerves when he first made his way out to the mound, but he settled in and kept Los Angeles off the board in his 3.2 innings of work.

“I think today I had a lot more time for the nerves to hit,” Thompson said. “You have all day to just kind of sit there and wait for your game to start so the nerves were a little bit more today. I’m glad it looked like I was under control because inside it was a whirlwind.”

Cubs Manager David Ross was happy with Keegan’s performance as well, saying he felt comfortable watching the Cullman native work on the mound.

“Keegan had everything working and looked like he felt right at home out there on the mound in his first big league start. He commanded the baseball really well, I thought he moved the fastball around nicely and mixed in all four pitches. He threw some right on right changeups which is impressive, the cutter looked like it was really good today, he spun the breaking ball nicely, showed great poise and it was really a nice start for him. It was really comfortable sitting over there and watching him pitch.”

Thompson’s dream has always been to make to pitch in the majors and that’s exactly how he described his experience at Wrigley Tuesday night.  “It was unbelievable,” Thompson said. “Just to start a game at Wrigley Field was something I didn’t think would happen. It was just an unreal experience. It’s just like a dream. Wrigley’s like one of the oldest stadiums in the league and just such a cool atmosphere to be a part of. It’s always just been a dream to throw here. It was really cool.”

Chicago will be at Wrigley Field for game three against the Dodgers tomorrow night at 6:30.

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