After splitting the first two games of their series with the Chicago Cubs, the Brewers were back at it in Chicago on Wednesday evening.
Wada has been with the Cubs since being called up on July 8th to pitch the back half of a double header. He’s only gone into the seventh inning in one of his starts, but has an impressive 3.25 ERA (3.35 FIP) in his five starts.
His 8.13 strike outs per nine innings are better than any of Milwaukee’s starters this season, and they don’t look like a fluke after striking out 9.50 per nine innings in AAA before being called up.
Wada nearly matched Hendricks’ performance from last night. He kept the Crew off the board until the seventh inning, and ultimately took a 4-2 win to give the Cubs a 2-1 lead in the series.
The Brewers went down in order in the top of the first. Chris Coghlan doubled to lead off the game for the Cubs; he moved to third on a Javier Baez single and scored on a sacrifice fly by Anthony Rizzo.
Coghlan lined a two-out single in the bottom half of the frame for the Cubs but he ended up getting thrown out by Martin Maldonado while trying in vain to steal second base.
After his throw to nab Coghlan, Maldonado led off the third inning with a double to right-center and moved to third on a Jean Segura fly out. Third is where Maldonado would stay after a Wada strike out of Lohse and a ground out by Carlos Gomez.
The Cubs extended the lead in the bottom of the third on a Javier Baez home run (4) to lead of the inning. Rizzo followed with a home run (27) of his own to make it 4-0.
Castro followed with a single to center. Lohse settled down and struck out Valbuena, Alcantara and Baker to end the inning, and his night. He left with what was called an ankle injury.
Lohse threw three innings and allowed four runs on seven hits and one walk. He struck out three.
With two outs in the top of the fourth Ramirez walked and Davis followed with a single, but Weeks struck out to end the inning.
Wada returned the favor in the top of the fifth, going through Maldonado, Segura and Estrada. Castro singled to right with two outs in the bottom of the fifth, but that was it for the Cubs for Estrada’s second scoreless inning.
Wada put top of the Brewers lineup down without issue in the top of the sixth inning. Estrada did the same in the bottom half of the frame, putting up another one-two-three inning.
With two outs in the top of the seventh, Weeks (5) broke the Crew’s scoreless streak with a home run to left-center to cut the lead to 4-1. Maldonado followed with a solo-home run (3) of his own to cut the lead down to two runs.
That was it for Wada, as the Cubs called for Justin Grimm to take over. Wada went 6 2/3 innings and allowed two runs on five hits and one walk. He struck out five.
Grimm got Segura to ground out to first for the final out of the inning with Milwaukee finally on the board.
Ryan Sweeney came on to pinch-hit for Grimm and popped out to second to open the bottom of the seventh against Estrada. Coghlan followed with his second double and third hit of the night to give Chicago a runner in scoring position but there he would stay as Estrada finished the inning without issue.
Scooter Gennett came on to pinch-hit for Estrada in the top of the eighth against new pitcher Neil Ramirez and struck out. After a Gomez fly out, Lucroy tripled to right, but Braun popped out to end the inning.
Brandon Kintzler came on to pitch the bottom of the eighth for Milwaukee. With one-out in the inning Davis whiffed on a Valbuena fly ball to left, leaving Valbuena at second base after a two-base error.
Kintzler walked Alcantara to put two on, but Baker grounded into a double play to end the inning.
Closer Hector Rondon came on to work on the save for the Cubs. He put down Ramirez, Davis and Weeks to end the game and earn his 16th save.
For the second night in a row a Cubs rookie starting pitcher, Wada, took the win. Lohse took the loss for Milwaukee.