Game One Hundred-Four: Cubs 4, Rockies 1
WP – Tsuyoshi Wada (1-1) LP – Yohan Flande (0-3) Save – Hector Rondon (13)
Tsuyoshi Wada limited the Rockies to one run over seven strong innings and earned his first big league victory. Anthony Rizzo drove in two runs and Emilio Bonifacio scored a pair as the Cubs started the four-game series with a win over the Rockies.
Tsuyoshi Wada was very good Monday night. Wada threw strikes, and mixed his pitches well. Wada had good command and appeared comfortable on the mound. Wada struck out the side in order to start his night and retired 12 of the first 13 batters he faced. And he did not issue a free pass until the seventh inning.
Tsuyoshi Wada made a big pitch when he needed one. The Rockies left a runner at third base in the fifth and sixth innings. Wada allowed one run on five hits with a walk and six strikeouts. Wada threw 97 pitches, 61 for strikes, in seven innings and he left the field to a standing ovation.
James Russell and Pedro Strop combined on a scoreless eighth and Hector Rondon nailed down the win for Tsuyoshi Wada with a perfect ninth inning.
Anthony Rizzo (1-for-4 with two RBI) had a good night at the plate and drove in half of the Cubs runs. Rizzo plated Emilio Bonifacio (2-for-4 with a double and two runs scored) with a groundout to second in the fourth inning with the Cubs first run. And Rizzo’s productive out set up the second run after Arismendy Alcantara (1-for-3 with a double, a run scored and a walk) advanced to third on the play. Alcantara tagged and scored on a Justin Ruggiano (1-for-2 with a sac fly RBI) sacrifice fly to right.
John Baker (1-for-3 with a run scored) singled in the eighth and scored the Cubs third run on an errant pickoff attempt at first base. Rizzo singled in Bonifacio with the last run of the night.
Starlin Castro (1-for-3 with a double and a walk) reached base twice but was robbed of a hit and a RBI in the eighth.
The Cubs scored four runs on eight hits with two walks and were 1-for-6 with RISP and left three men on base.
With Monday’s victory, the Cubs improved to 43-61 on the season.
Tsuyoshi Wada retired 12 of the first 13 batters he faced on Monday night. Wada threw 46 pitches, 30 for strikes, in the first four innings and the game was scoreless going into the bottom of the fourth.
Emilio Bonifacio led off the fourth with a single to right (2-1 pitch). Arismendy Alcantara pulled a 0-2 pitch from Yohan Flande into left. Bonifacio went to third and Alcantara hustled into second with a double. Anthony Rizzo pulled a 0-1 pitch to D.J. LeMahieu at second. Bonifacio scored as Rizzo was thrown out at first base, 1-0 Cubs. Alcantara moved up to third on the play. Flande fell behind Starlin Castro 3-1 before issuing ball four intentionally. With runners on the corners and one down, Justin Ruggiano drove Flande’s first pitch to right. Carlos Gonzalez caught the ball, Alcantara tagged from third and scored … 2-0 Cubs. With Castro still at first, Chris Coghlan was caught looking at a 1-2 pitch to end the inning.
After four innings, the Cubs had a 2-0 lead.
Tsuyoshi Wada kept the Rockies off the board in the fifth after Rick Renteria asked the umps to review a call at first base that would have put runners on the corners with two outs. Charlie Culberson hit a grounder to third that Bonifacio fielded but stumbled before he made the throw across the diamond. It was a close play and he was called safe. The call was overturned, inning over. Wada threw 60 pitches, 38 for strikes, in five innings.
The Cubs did nothing in the bottom of the fifth and Wada struck out Flande swinging to start the sixth inning. Charlie Blackmon followed with a single to center and went to third on a single to right off the bat of D.J. LeMahieu. With runners on the corners and one out, Wada struck out Carlos Gonzalez swinging. Nolan Arenado singled to center, Blackmon scored and cut the Cubs lead to 2-1. With runners on the corners and two down, Wilin Rosario grounded out to Castro for the third out. Wada threw 85 pitches, 54 for strikes, over the first six innings.
The Cubs did nothing in the sixth and Wada took the hill for the seventh inning with the Cubs up 2-1.
Wada issued his first walk of the game to Brandon Barnes to start the seventh. Renteria left him in the game and Ben Paulsen grounded into a 3-6 double play. Charlie Culberson flied out to right to end the inning.
The Cubs could not cash in a leadoff double by Starlin Castro in the seventh and Wada warmed up to start the eighth inning.
Once Corey Dickerson was announced as the pinch hitter for Matt Belisle, Renteria went to his pen for lefty James Russell. Wada left the field to a standing ovation and Russell gave up a bloop single to Dickerson. Blackmon bunted Dickerson to second and Renteria went back to his pen for Pedro Strop. Strop struck out LeMahieu swinging. A passed ball allowed Dickerson to move to third, but Gonzalez lined out to Rizzo to end the inning.
Nick Masset started the eighth for the Rockies and John Baker singled to center (2-2 pitch). Renteria called for a hit and run and Nate Schierholtz singled to right center. Baker went to the third and he scored when Masset made a wild throw to first … 3-1 Cubs. Renteria called for another hit and run and Emilio Bonifacio doubled to left. Schierholtz held at third with no outs. Arismendy Alcantara walked to load the bases for Rizzo. After the first pitch to Rizzo, Wilin Rosario picked off Schierholtz from third base. With runners on first and second with one out, Anthony Rizzo singled to right center. Bonifacio scored, 4-1 Cubs. Starlin Castro was robbed by an extraordinary diving stop by Charlie Culberson on a ball that was ticketed for centerfield. Culberson flipped to LeMahieu to turn the 6-4-3 inning ending double play.
Hector Rondon took the hill for the ninth with the Cubs up 4-1 and set down the side in order on 11 pitches, seven for strikes, to end the game.
Edwin Jackson faces Jorge De La Rosa in game two with the Rockies on Tuesday night (7:05pm CDT).