Talk about giving your manager something to think about for October: Chicago Cubs lefty slugger Kyle Schwarber hit his first home run off a left-hander this season on Sunday, after hitting 25 against righties in 409 previous at-bats.
Schwarber wasn’t supposed to play Sunday, but Kris Bryant got the day off due to a fatigued shoulder, allowing Schwarber to mash against White Sox lefty Carlos Rodon. Coming into the game, Schwarber was hitting .208 against lefties with just two extra-base hits. By the third inning, he had doubled that season total, as he followed his second-inning 444-foot shot with a double off Rodon, helping the Cubs to a 6-1 win.nfl nike jerseys cheap china
“It’s not a big deal,” Schwarber said after the game. “I’ll take a homer and a double if it’s off a side-arm right-hander or switch-handed pitcher.”
Having said that, there’s little doubt that Schwarber wants to play against all types come next month. He has been mostly a platoon player in his career, though he hit everyone during the playoff run in 2015 as well as in his famous World Series appearance in 2016. Since then, it has been a long road back to stardom.
Schwarber had an awful 2017 campaign, eventually finding his way to the minors, but after committing himself to losing weight and becoming more agile, he has returned with a vengeance. However, it has been an under-the-radar season for him in a lot of ways. He can blame a teammate for that.
“Javy [Baez] doing what he does has taken a lot of the attention away,” said Kyle Hendricks, Sunday’s winning pitcher. “But that’s a good thing. It helps a lot of us around here. A lot of guys feast on being under the radar. I think Schwarbs is one of those guys.”
After Sunday, even die-hard Cubs fans would probably be surprised to learn that Schwarber moved ahead of Anthony Rizzo and Ben Zobrist for second on the team in OPS. He now ranks 17th (.845) in the National League, behind only Baez on the Cubs.
“Last year was a little different, but he put in the work this offseason,” Bryant said. “Got his body right, his mind right. It’s nice to see someone turn it around and feel good about that. I’m super happy for him.”
Hendricks agreed. “He’s had a helluva year, especially bouncing back from what he’s gone through,” he said.cheap nfl nike jerseys from china
Could Schwarber start to get noticed come October? After all, he is already a fall folk hero in Chicago due to a whopping 1.031 postseason OPS. If that continues after the Cubs (likely) clinch the NL Central this week, Schwarber no longer will be in Baez’s shadow.