Two years ago today, June 17, 2015, was a significant day in Cubs history.
The Cubs crushed the Indians 17-0 at Progressive Field in Cleveland. Little did we know that less than a year and a half later, the Cubs would win the World Series in that same ballpark.
They had a 10-0 lead after three innings, helped out by homers by Addison Russell, Anthony Rizzo and Chris Denorfia.
But it was in the ninth inning when the fun really started. The Tribe used two different position players in that inning, Ryan Raburn and David Murphy, and when Kris Bryant came to bat with the bases full facing Murphy, he unloaded [VIDEO].
It was Bryant’s first career grand slam. He’s hit two more since then: July 4, 2015 at Wrigley Field against Jarred Cosart of the Marlins, and April 21, 2016 at Cincinnati against Drew Hayes of the Reds. You might remember the latter game better as Jake Arrieta’s second no-hitter.
The 17-run margin of victory was a milestone:
Tonight's 17-0 @Cubs win is their biggest shutout win since 19-0 over the #Padres on May 13, 1969— Al Yellon (@bleedcubbieblue) June 18, 2015
Here are all 11 games in Cubs history where they won by 17 runs or more:
- June 17, 2015, 17-0 over the Indians
- May 5, 2001, 20-1 over the Dodgers
- August 18, 1995, 26-7 over the Rockies
- May 17, 1977, 23-6 over the Padres
- May 13, 1969, 19-0 over the Padres
- May 20, 1967, 20-3 over the Dodgers
- July 3, 1945, 24-2 over the Braves
- May 5, 1938, 21-2 over the Phillies
- April 23, 1926, 18-1 over the Reds
- June 11, 1911, 20-2 over the Braves (no boxscore link available)
- June 7, 1906, 19-0 over the Giants (no boxscore link available)
Something else significant happened that night in Cleveland. It was Kyle Schwarber’s first start as a big leaguer. He’d made his major-league debut the previous night, also against the Indians, at Wrigley Field, entering the game to catch the ninth inning.
On this night, serving as the Cubs’ DH, he went 4-for-5, including hitting a triple (!) in his first major-league at-bat [VIDEO].
It’s still the only triple of Schwarber’s big-league career, now totaling 449 at-bats. He did this in front of a lot of family and friends who had made the drive from his hometown of Middletown, Ohio.
Good times. Let’s hope there are more to come for everyone involved.