Matt Szczur's bat and underwear, yes, underwear have helped get the Cubs' offense going
You wouldn't think that a Cubs team that won an MLB-best 103 games and ran away with the NL Central would need a good-luck charm, but turns out the Cubs do -- probably to counteract that whole billy goat curse. But rather than a rabbit's foot or a horseshoe or even a a forbidden monkey's paw that grants wishes at a terrible cost, the Cubs have outfielder Matt Szczur.
Even though the outfielder didn't make the NLCS roster for the team, it was his bat that Anthony Rizzo grabbed on Wednesday's Game 4 that helped him break out of his slump with this massive dinger:
That continued in the Cubs' 8-4 win during Thursday's Game 5 when Rizzo hit an RBI double to start the scoring in the top of the first inning, extending his streak to four consecutive at-bats with a hit since swapping out his lumber.
The legend of Szczur doesn't end there, though. Looking for even more of an edge, it was revealed during an in-game interview in Game 5 that shortstop Addison Russell was wearing the outfielder's underwear as he went 3-for-5 with a home run and two RBIs in Game 4. It snapped a four-game hitless streak and was his first extra-base hit of the postseason.
He also hit another big two-run dinger and single in Game 5, while, yep, still wearing Szczur's leggings:
"It's good karma going all around," Szczur said after Game 5. "We'll let it ride for now and hopefully everything works out for us."
Anthony Rizzo used Matt Sczcur's bat: broke out of slump. Addison Russell wore Matt Sczcur's underwear: broke out of slump. Thanks Matt.- Cubs Insider (@Cubs_Insider) October 21, 2016
Naturally some other players have clued in to the source of all the good luck. "[Ben Zobrist] was like, 'Hey, [Matt], what have you got for me?" Szczur added.
It doesn't bother him that this is his currrent ole in the postseason, either. "I'm fine," he said. "It's just different ways to contribute and I'm trying to help the team, no matter what."
A bat and some leggings are the least of the things Szczur's given away, though. In 2010, and just a few months before the Cubs drafted him in the fifth round of the MLB Draft, the outfielder donated his bone marrow to help Anastasia, a toddler in the Ukraine:
Yeah, makes donating your underwear to a teammate seem like the easiest thing in the world. Oh, and don't worry about Rizzo's bats, either, Cubs fans. "I wrapped another one tonight for Rizzo just in case," Szczur said.
Tune in to Game 6 of the NLCS on Saturday at 8 p.m. ET on FS1. The Cubs will try to reach their first World Series in 71 years, but they'll have to get past Clayton Kershaw.