Schwarber's day: Adventures in LF, long HR

March 29th, 2018

MIAMI -- wasn't happy about his outfield play in the third inning on Thursday, but he said he forgot about it in a few minutes. It showed in the seventh inning, when Schwarber launched a solo homer to help the Cubs beat the Marlins, 8-4, on Opening Day.

Schwarber had worked hard this offseason to slim down, hoping a more svelte physique would help him in the outfield. He still had some trouble on Thursday.

In the bottom of the third inning, Schwarber seemed to have a hard time tracking 's hit, which ended up as a leadoff triple. Cubs starter then walked and Dietrich scored on a groundout by . The ball had only a 32 percent hit probability according to Statcast™, indicating what should have been a relatively low-damage fly ball.

then singled to left and Schwarber overran the ball, allowing Anderson to reach third on the hit and error, allowing another run to score.

"The first ball [by Dietrich] just carried," Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. "The second ball [by Anderson], this kind of grass, when it's cross cut it's going to snake. It does snake. The ball's coming right at you and it can make a left turn, and that's what happened to him. When you're playing on that kind of an outfield, you have to be a little bit more cautious as you're coming to the ball.

"He learned a lesson here today," Maddon said. "It could've happened to anybody."

Schwarber may have nightmares about that fine Bermuda grass -- or he might forget it.

"I was over it in two minutes," Schwarber said. "I just had to find a way to move on from that and stay locked in to what's going on in the game.

"I still want to find a way to knock it down or get a glove on it. It is what it is. I was frustrated for about two minutes, because I want to make that play for [Lester]. Obviously, it was frustrating, but you have to be able to move on from it and learn from it. I'm not being mad about it. I felt I moved on from it pretty great and went on with my at-bats."

Schwarber got all of his home run against Miami's , launching the ball 406 feet to right. Maddon thought it was headed to the upper deck but the wind knocked it down. Guerrero had struck out four in a row before the blast.

"I love watching him hit," said , who hit the game's first pitch for a homer, of Schwarber. "He's a special hitter. For him to clip that guy after he struck out four guys in a row was pretty cool."