Kyle Schwarber is a powerful striker of baseballs. We all knew that heading into Tuesday night’s game with the Reds, but what the rookie slugger proceeded to do in the late innings may have laid the foundation for his legacy. Hyperbole? Bombast? Perhaps, though I’d not be the first to be accused of using such pregnant language when referring to this nascent star.
I know it’s far from perfect, but take a look at the GIF below and check out Schwarbers swings, or, as those 90’s icons Wayne and Garth would say, schwings! The first came on a 94 mph fastball that sat middle-in and the second on an 87 mph slider that was a bit more down and away. While both displayed excellent recognition and lighting quickness, they were far from exact replicas.
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) July 22, 2015
I could watch this over and over, just seeing the way Schwarber takes what the pitcher gives him and then does harmful things to the baseballs. He’s not just flailing madly and hoping for a mistake either; in both at-bats he did damage in two-strike counts. Not only that, but he did so with his team down two runs in the 9th and then tied in the 13th.
And he’s not just a one-trick pony who’s just up there to hit homers; his single and double gave him four total hits on the night, the second time he’s collected that many in only 8 major league starts. For what it’s worth, the rest of the Cubs roster has combined for only one such game this season. But back to the bombs.
Just take a look at the win probability for the game and look at the impact his drives had on the Cubs’ chances.
Okay, that might be difficult for some of you to interpret, so let me invert the graph and zoom way, way in to display things in a different format.
The dude created mountains! If he keeps up with these kinds of earth-moving performances, the young man is likely to have his name changed to Khal Schwarber (h/t to my friend, Manu). It’s very nice to see the Cubs offense breaking out, even if that offense is mainly confined to a single player.
Perhaps this is just the kind of jump-start the rest of the team needs. One thing’s for sure though, and that’s that this kid isn’t going back down to the minors again. Ever.