Schwarber sets Cubs' postseason homer record
Solo shot in first inning of Game 3 gives rookie five dingers during playoffs
CHICAGO -- The Cubs have a new postseason home run king, though Kyle Schwarber made it clear he would trade his crown for some victories in the National League Championship Series.
Schwarber's solo shot off Mets starter Jacob deGrom in the bottom of the first inning of the Cubs' 5-2 loss on Tuesday tied Game 3 and gave the rookie slugger five home runs this postseason -- a Cubs record not just for one postseason, but all-time.
That's right. The Cubs' all-time postseason home run king is a 22-year-old who was just drafted last June, and was in the Instructional League at this time last year. Schwarber broke a tie with former Cubs Aramis Ramirez and Alex Gonzalez, who each hit four home runs in the 2003 playoffs. Ramirez hit his four homers in 18 games and 87 at-bats, and Gonzalez in 12 games and 40 at-bats.
Schwarber got to five homers in just seven playoff games and 24 at-bats.
He was not the only player to become his club's postseason home run king on Tuesday. The Mets' Daniel Murphy hit his sixth, snapping a tie with Mike Piazza.
"I'm not really looking at that right now," Schwarber said of his Cubs mark. "I'm focused on winning ballgames, plain and simple. There's no 'I' here. This is a team, plain and simple. I'm focused on making sure we play hard and get a win [Wednesday]."
The Cubs trail in the best-of-seven series, three games to none, and face elimination on Wednesday night in Game 4 (7:30 p.m. ET air time, 8 p.m. game time on TBS).
"This is not the spot we want to be, but we're here and we have to face it," said Schwarber, who lamented committing one of the Cubs' slew of miscues when he dropped a line drive amid a two-run Mets rally in the seventh inning. "It's a little taste of adversity. We know that we're a good team and we know that we can do a lot of special things."
Schwarber has singlehandedly been doing special things at the plate this month. Here are more of them:
• The only other rookie to hit at least five home runs in a single postseason was the Rays' Evan Longoria, who hit six in 2008, when Tampa Bay went all the way to the World Series. Schwarber enters Wednesday's game one shy of that record.
• Schwarber also set a record for postseason home runs before his 23rd birthday. Miguel Cabrera, Bryce Harper, Andruw Jones and Mickey Mantle each hit four.
• Schwarber has homered in four of the Cubs' past five games, including a monstrous homer into the Allegheny River in Pittsburgh in the Wild Card round, and another at Wrigley in Game 4 of the NL Division Series that landed atop a scoreboard in right field. The baseball is being preserved there for the rest of the postseason.
• Schwarber's nine hits are a Cubs rookie record for a single postseason, surpassing Jerome Walton, who had eight hits in 1989.
• Schwarber has connected against some of the NL's top pitchers: The Pirates' Gerrit Cole, the Cardinals' Michael Wacha and Kevin Siegrist, and the Mets' Matt Harvey and deGrom.
• According to ESPN Stats & Info, Schwarber's hit off deGrom's -- the pitch was 10.5 inches off the plate -- was the furthest outside a lefty has hit a home run this year.