Game Sixty-Three – Cubs 17, Indians 0
WP – Tsuyoshi Wada (1-1) LP – Shaun Marcum (3-2) Save – None
The Cubs have a new member of the 25 and Under Club and his name is Kyle Schwarber. In his first start in the big leagues, Kyle Schwarber (4-for-5 with a triple, two RBI and three runs scored) collected four hits and his first, a triple, drove in Chris Coghlan with the first run of the game. Schwarber was credited with the game winning RBI.
The Cubs smacked four home runs Wednesday, one each from Addison Russell (2-for-5 with a home run and three RBI), Anthony Rizzo (2-for-4 with a double, a home run and two RBI), Chris Denorfia (2-for-5 with a double, a home run and four RBI) and Kris Bryant (2-for-6 with a home run and four RBI). Bryant launched a Grand Slam, his first, in the ninth inning off position player David Murphy. Bryant, thankfully, extended his hitting streak to a career-high 13 games in the sixth against an actual pitcher, Marc Rzepczynski.
The Cubs batted around in three different innings Wednesday night. After batting around in the second inning and putting six runs on the board, Terry Francona did not send Shaun Marcum back out for the third inning. Francona used seven different pitchers to complete eight innings and had position players Ryan Raburn and David Murphy pitch the ninth with the Cubs in full control of the ballgame.
The Cubs hit for the cycle in the six-run second inning. Chris Coghlan (2-for-3 with three walks and two runs scored) and Dexter Fowler (1-for-4 with two walks and two runs scored) singled. Chris Denorfia doubled. Kyle Schwarber tripled. And both Addison Russell and Anthony Rizzo hit home runs.
The game changed on two plays Wednesday night. The Indians had Tsuyoshi Wada on the ropes and Ryan Raburn appeared to drive in Michael Brantley with a single to left. Chris Coghlan charged the ball and threw a strike to David Ross and he tagged Brantley to end the inning. The play was not close enough to review. And in the top of the second, Kyle Schwarber’s triple got past Carlos Santana at first base. While it was ruled a triple and RBI for Schwarber, it could have easily been called an error.
The Cubs defense had an excellent game Wednesday. Addison Russell turned in another web gem and Kris Bryant started a 5-6-3 double play to end the seventh inning. Bryant was playing in short right with Brandon Moss at the plate.
What will be lost in the offensive outburst is the start turned in by Tsuyoshi Wada.
Once Wada was given a big lead, he pounded the strike zone. Wada has to pitch like he did Wednesday moving forward. Wada allowed just two hits and a walk after the first inning. Wada completed seven innings and the Indians managed only four hits with two walks. Wada struck out six on 107 pitches, 69 for strikes.
Yoervis Medina made his Cubs’ debut and completed two scoreless innings with the game well in hand by the time he started warming up. Medina made only 19 pitches, 13 for strikes.
With Wednesday’s win, the Cubs improved to 35-28 on the season.
After throwing out Michael Brantley at the plate to end the first inning, Chris Coghlan led off the second with a single to right center (2-2 pitch). Castro popped out to Kipnis in shallow right.
Kyle Schwarber pulled a 1-1 pitch past Carlos Santana and down the right field line. Coghlan was waived around and scored without a throw. Brandon Moss had trouble getting the ball out of the corner. And Coghlan scored on what was ruled as a triple for Kyle Schwarber … his first big league hit and RBI.
Chris Denorfia pulled a 1-1 pitch from Shaun Marcum into left. Schwarber scored easily, 2-0 Cubs. David Ross was robbed of an extra basehit by third baseman Giovanny Urshela.
Addison Russell launched a 3-1 pitch to deep left. The ball sailed into the stands and Russell’s fifth home run of the season, a two-run shot, gave the Cubs a 4-0 lead.
Dexter Fowler singled to left and trotted around the bases when Anthony Rizzo snapped his hitless streak (0-for-20) with a towering home run to right … 6-0 Cubs.
Kris Bryant was robbed of an extra basehit by Mike Aviles with a nice running catch in the left field corner to end the inning.
Tsuyoshi Wada sat down the Indians in order in the second inning … 40 pitches for Wada after two, 24 for strikes.
The Cubs led 6-0 after two innings.
Terry Francona made a pitching change before the third inning. Shaun Marcum was lifted for lefty Nick Hagadone. Chris Coghlan singled to right and moved to second on an infield single by Starlin Castro. And Schwarber stepped in with two on and no outs.
Kyle Schwarber pulled a single into right off the lefty Hagadone. Coghlan scored, 7-0 Cubs.
Chris Denorfia looked at two out of the zone and Terry Francona decided that was enough for his lefty. Francona replaced Hagadone with right hander Ryan Webb. And Denorfia lined a 3-1 pitch from Webb into the stands in left center. Denorfia’s first longball of the season put the Cubs up 10-0.
David Ross singled to left. The ball one-hopped the wall and he moved to third two batters later. Russell flied out to right and Fowler was caught looking. Anthony Rizzo doubled to right center. With runners on second and third, Bryant flied out to right center (1-1 pitch) to end the inning.
Tsuyoshi Wada retired the Indians in order in the third … 52 pitches for Wada after three, 32 for strikes.
After three complete, the Cubs had a 10-0 lead.
Tsuyoshi Wada kept the Indians off the board for the remainder of his seven-inning outing. The Cubs offense could not string together any hits against the host of relievers Terry Francona had to use Wednesday night.
Yoervis Medina made his Cubs’ debut in the eighth and pitched a 1-2-3 inning. And the game went to the ninth with the Cubs leading 10-0.
Terry Francona stopped going to his pen in the ninth and decided to insert a position player, Ryan Raburn.
Chris Coghlan walked to start the ninth and moved to second when Kyle Schwarber collected his fourth hit of the game, an infield single toward third. Denorfia lined out to third. Raburn could not continue. Francona waived in David Murphy from left field to get the last out.
David Ross hit a pop up into shallow center that Lindor was in position to catch. The ball fell to the ground, Coghlan scored … 11-0 Cubs.
Addison Russell singled to left. Schwarber scored, 12-0 Cubs and Fowler walked to load the bases. Murphy hit Mike Baxter, who replaced Rizzo earlier in the game; Ross trotted in … 13-0 Cubs.
Kris Bryant stepped in and launched a 78 mph changeup from Murphy over the center field wall (1-1 pitch) and Bryant’s first career Grand Slam made it 17-0 Cubs. Coghlan flied out to center to end the inning.
Yoervis Medina pitched the ninth and retired all three batters he faced to end the game.
The Cubs and Indians wrap up the three-game series Thursday night (6:10pm CDT). Jason Hammel is scheduled to face Danny Salazar.