Well, last night’s game sure was something. Where to start in a 17-0 win that featured tons of home runs, great defensive plays, and not one — but two — position players pitching?
How about Kyle Schwarber’s night? The Cubs’ next big hitting prospect got his first MLB start and did not disappoint.
Serving as the designated hitter, all he did was go 4-for-5, with a triple, three runs and two RBIs. The triple, his first MLB hit, was a shot down he first-base line but probably should’ve been handled by Carlos Santana — but that’s OK. All of his hits were hit on a rope except for his infield hit in the top of the 9th.
This lineup is going to be ridiculous once Schwarber is a permanent part of it.
Other offensive highlights include:
* Chris Denorfia hit his first home run of the year. He added 4 RBIs.
* Anthony Rizzo broke out of an 0-for-20 slump with a home run that he hit while kneeling down on his back knee.
* Addison Russell hit his fifth homer of the year.
* Kris Bryant hit a grand slam in the top of the 9th. It came off outfielder David Murphy, who came in to pitch after relieving Ryan Raburn, who was the DH to start the game.
It was a wild game. A lot of games this season have been a blast. But Wednesday’s was probably the best so far.
Let’s hope they can keep it going. The runs may be harder to come by tonight, as the Cubs face talented youngster Danny Salazar.
Salazar can struggle with his control at times. I’m hoping the Cubs can be patient, make him throw a lot of pitches, and get into that Indians bullpen.
Rosscup to DL; Medina up
Not surprising considering he left Tuesday’s game pointing toward his shoulder, Zac Rosscup has been placed on the 15-day disabled list. Taking his place on the roster is RHP Yoervis Medina, who came over in the trade with the Mariners for Welington Castillo.
At Triple-A Iowa, Medina has given up two runs over his last seven innings pitched. He has shown he can get MLB hitters out with the Mariners, posting a career 2.82 ERA in 141 appearances.
His fastball was reported down in velocity this year, and has struggled with command at times.
The Cubs wasted no time in getting him into a game, as Medina made his Chicago debut last night. He pitched two clean innings of relief, consistently hitting 93 mph on the radar gun with his fastball.
Even after losing Rosscup, the Cubs still have two lefties in the bullpen: Travis Wood and James Russell.
Wada pitching performance
Perhaps lost in the barrage of offense last night, Tsuyoshi Wada had his best start of the year — by far.
Wada went a season-long seven innings, giving up only four hits and striking out six. It was nice to see him attack hitters and not mess around while having a big lead.
Last Tuesday on his weekly appearance on the Spiegel and Goff Show on 670 the Score, Joe Maddon said he had not done a good enough job of communicating with Wada (language barrier aside). The two met and Maddon hoped he helped the veteran lefty relax a bit, admitting he believed Wada was pressing.
So far so good. After last night’s win, Wada had some entertaining things to say:
Wada needed no translator to answer first Q after 7 scoreless: "I am a badass." Later admitted wasn't sure what it meant. JoeM taught him.
— Gordon Wittenmyer (@GDubMLB) June 18, 2015
Wada: “I wasn’t sure what the bad ass means but you guys are laughing at it so it must be a good thing to say."
— Jesse Rogers (@JesseRogersESPN) June 18, 2015
It’s really fun to watch the different ways in which Joe Maddon’s influence surfaces.
* Miguel Montero was scratched from the lineup last night with back stiffness. It doesn’t sound too serious, but it’ll be interesting to see if Kyle Schwarber gets any time behind the plate if Montero misses an extended amount of time.
* The Cubs weren’t the only team to record a shutout yesterday, as the Tennessee Smokies shut down the Mississippi Braves 8-0. In his second start of the season, Pierce Johnson tossed five scoreless innings and struck out four.
* Also in that Smokies game, Neil Ramirez made his rehab debut and pitched one clean inning. More of this, please. He can’t get to Chicago fast enough.