Walkoff home run by Kyle Schwarber lifts Cubs over Reds in extras

by - Senior Writer -
Kyle Schwarber hit his first career walkoff home run on Tuesday, capping off a thrilling 10-inning win by the Cubs. (Credit: Daniel Bartel-USA TODAY Sports)
Kyle Schwarber hit his first career walkoff home run on Tuesday, capping off a thrilling 10-inning win by the Cubs. (Credit: Daniel Bartel-USA TODAY Sports)

CHICAGO — Entering the bottom of the 10th inning on Tuesday night, Chicago Cubs (51-44) left fielder Kyle Schwarber was 0-for-5 and had yet to even hit a ball out of the infield. That was all forgotten with one swing of the bat, though, as Schwarber jacked his 21st home run of the season into the basket at the top of the wall in left-center at Wrigley Field to give the Cubs a walkoff victory. Defeating the Cincinnati Reds (43-49) 4-3 on the night that the legendary 1969 Cubs team was honored, the North Siders scored all four of their runs via homers.

Making a spot start in place of the injured Cole Hamels, young Cubs pitcher Alec Mills struggled out of the gate, as he gave up three runs in the opening inning. For the second game in a row, Eugenio Suarez put the Reds up 1-0 over the Cubs with a first-inning solo shot. Also in the first, Nick Senzel hit an RBI base knock, and Jose Peraza swatted an RBI double. A pair of stellar defensive plays saved the Cubs from falling into an even deeper hole, with Albert Almora Jr. making a brilliant sliding catch on the warning track and Javier Baez firing home on a relay throw that outed a runner at the plate to end the half-inning.

Robel Garcia put the Cubs on the scoreboard with a 392-foot 2-run blast in the bottom of the second. Marking Garcia's third home run in a Cubs uniform, the round-tripper out to center scored Anthony Rizzo after he led off with a single. Reds starter Anthony DeSclafani, who was taken deep by Garcia, went on to pitch 5 2/3 innings of 3-run ball. As for Mills, he collected himself following the rough first frame and ultimately lasted six innings on the mound.

A potential scoring opportunity for the Cubs was nullified by a questionable call in the bottom of the fourth, as Rizzo was called out for offensive interference after Reds second baseman Derek Dietrich seemingly intentionally ran into Rizzo when the Cubs first baseman was attempting to make it to second base on a ground ball. The Cubs were eventually able to tie the game up, however, as Kris Bryant hammered a 405-foot no-doubter to left-center in the bottom of the sixth. The game-tying solo tater served as Bryant's 19th yard ball of 2019.

The Cubs next boasted a legitimate scoring chance in the bottom of the eighth, when Baez and Bryant hit back-to-back infield singles. Interestingly, Baez hustled for his infield hit after turning down first base when the home-plate umpire ruled that an inside pitch had hit him. Baez, who is truly one-of-a-kind, disagreed with the call and declined to accept the free base, thereby continuing with his at-bat. Unfortunately for Baez, he and Bryant were both left stranded in the eighth.

In the bottom of the ninth, another strange incident pertaining to a Cubs player's plate appearance took place. Prior to that, Garcia tallied a leadoff single and was then advanced to second on a groundout. Afterward, Almora struck out on a wild pitch and evidently forgot that he could run to first on the play. Although Garcia easily reached third, Almora was thrown out just in the nick of time, indicating that he likely would have been safe if he had rushed for first as soon as he whiffed on his third-strike swing. In the ensuing at-bat, Martin Maldonado, who started at catcher for the Cubs after being acquired in a trade on Monday, struck out swinging and left Garcia hanging out to dry.

With one out in the bottom of the 10th, the wackiness of the preceding couple of innings was totally overshadowed by Schwarber's walkoff moonshot, which was the first walkoff RBI of Schwarber's career.. The high, towering homer descended into the basket for a 359-foot 4-bagger that ended the contest with the Cubs on top by a final score of 4-3. The Cubs donned throwback uniforms to honor the 1969 bunch on the evening, and they did the old-timers proud by overcoming a 3-run deficit and winning in dramatic fashion.

Cincinnati Reds at Chicago Cubs | 10
Jul 16, 2019 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Extras R H E
Cincinnati (43-49) 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 8 0
Chicago (51-44) 0 2 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 4 9 0
W: Steve Cishek (3-5) L: Raisel Iglesias (2-8)

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