It takes a lot to get a government on this show, but if this keeps up, you’re going to be meeting a ton of babies named Kyle Joseph or Kylie Joseph from the Chicagoland area, because Schwarber is going legend.
That scary statue of Harry Caray outside Wrigley is going to be joined by one of a 6 foot tall, 235 pound masher who just flat-out rakes.
His story of missing practically the entire season, seeing 1,300 pitches from a machine in Arizona, and then hopping a plane to Cleveland has already taken on “Jerome Bettis is from Detroit” proportions… and sure this narrative is getting rammed down our throats. But I’m all right with it. In fact, like everyone else, I’m in awe of it.
I mean, how the hell is this guy doing it? You know the saying, some guys can just roll out of the rack, mashing? Schwarber is the epitome of that. The guy shreds his knee, hasn’t seen any major league pitching in more than 200 days, and just shows up on the sport’s biggest stage, and starts raking?! No rust, no grip, and no loss of rhythm or timing, at all?! It’s insane.
Right now, he’s their best hitter. This guy hammers one off the wall against Cory Kluber in game one, when none of his teammates could even manage a good swing against the Indians’ ace and then comes right back last night with two more knocks and two runs batted in. He’s your MVP, and he may not even pick up a glove in the series.
Even Terry Francona had to tip his hat after last night: “I can see why Theo sent a plane for him. I would, too. That’s a lot to ask, but special players can do special things.”
Yeah, Jake Arrieta was a badass; going bare arms in freezing weather and being just on the right side of wild to keep Cleveland from getting a hit through 5+ innings, but last night was all about Schwarber. Hell, everything and everyone is all about Schwarber right now. And it’s not just the media and fans who are throwing up all over themselves; it’s his teammates too:
Anthony Rizzo told Tom Verducci: “People have no idea how hard it is to do what he just did. Only someone who is a freak of nature could do this. He’s a natural born hitter. This is the stuff of legends as the World Series goes on.”
Kris Bryant: “To do this, especially with the stuff that staff has? No way. I couldn’t do it.”
That’s a three-time All-Star and a future MVP and their jaws are on the floor. No wonder Miguel Montero told Jeff Passan: “He’s going to be the leader of this clubhouse and the leader of this team. His personality, his demeanor, just the way he handles himself in the clubhouse. With all due respect to Rizzo and KB and whoever is on the team, I think he’s going to be the leader of this club. Simple as that.”
The guy’s played 71 regular season games and they’re already naming him the leader of the clubhouse. They love this cat. And they really loved it when he celebrated his first RBI single by turning to the Cubs dugout and telling one of his teammates what they could do to a certain part of his anatomy. It was directed at David Ross and Ross loved it:
“I almost passed out laughing. I love that guy. He is so tough mentally.”
He’s all of that. And now the Cubs have a decision. Given what this guy means to them right now, do you put him in the outfield when the Series goes to Chicago? Can you risk that knee, and his future? Seems a little crazy to ask a guy just off ACL surgery to be running around in the outfield, but can you risk playing the biggest games of this season without his bat? Knowing how he’s handled everything so far, he’ll probably turn into some hybrid of Willie Mays glove and Bo Jackson’s arm, and hit three bombs in Game 3. Because he’s Kyle Joseph Schwarber.
I’m no doctor, I just play one on the radio, but maybe I have a high threshold for his pain, and the potential for reinjury, but I’m playing this guy.
You have a ground ball pitcher going in Game 3. Put him out there and tell him not to move. And then let him take his hacks 3 or 4 more times.
If the guy can just show up after all that time and rake like that, I’m guessing he can also show up after all that time and shag a flyball or two.
Just don’t be a hero and don’t lay out.