This Cubs duo 1st since Banks/Hickman to achieve HR feat

Wisdom, Schwindel go back to back for 2nd straight day, lift Chicago to win in 8th

May 22nd, 2022

CHICAGO -- Schwisdom.

That was on the shirt Patrick Wisdom wore after the Cubs' 5-4 victory over the D-backs on Sunday afternoon at Wrigley Field. And it couldn’t have been more fitting.

The Cubs were on the cusp of dropping their fifth straight game, which would have tied their longest losing streak of the season. But then came Wisdom and Frank Schwindel, who ended that skid by blasting back-to-back home runs to open the eighth inning -- Wisdom's homer tied it, while Schwindel's gave the Cubs the lead.

“That was a good one.” Schwindel said. “Especially to put the team ahead right there. It was a fun two batters right there, a great team win.”

The duo also hit back-to-back homers in the second inning of Saturday's loss. That time, it was Schwindel first and then Wisdom followed.

With their back-to-back home runs on consecutive days, Wisdom and Schwindel became the first Cubs teammates to accomplish this feat since Ernie Banks and Jim Hickman did it on Aug. 23-24, 1969.

“Wow, that’s really cool,” Wisdom said. “We feed off each other's energy, so it’s been great.”

Their Sunday homers couldn’t have come at a better time, as the Cubs trailed, 4-3, entering the eighth. Wisdom uncorked on an 85 mph cutter from D-backs right-hander Ian Kennedy and sent it a Statcast-projected 404 feet.

Then, Wisdom showed emotion on the basepaths and did his traditional high-jump celebration with third-base coach Willie Harris on his way home.

“It’s fantastic,” Wisdom said. “Every win is great, but this one’s nice.”

Schwindel followed by crushing a Kennedy fastball and sprinting -- literally -- around the bases. As the Cubs' designated hitter approached the dugout, Wisdom was the first to greet him with a hug.

“I was riding the momentum there,” Schwindel said. “Patrick had a good spin around, too, so I was trying to be like him.”

There’s no doubt the two share a special bond that goes back to early last year, when both players became vital pieces to the Cubs' organization.

In 2021, Wisdom had 28 homers, 61 RBIs and an .823 OPS, while Schwindel batted .342 with 13 home runs and 40 RBIs. The Cubs looked at both players as part of the future of the team. However, last season’s success didn’t immediately carry over for either at the start of '22.

Both players have endured some early struggles this season. Entering Sunday, Wisdom was batting .208 with eight homers and 56 strikeouts in 125 at-bats. Schwindel was batting .222 with three homers.

While their starts haven't been what either expected, both Wisdom and Schwindel are starting to turn a corner of late, trying to find that 2021 form.

“Over the past week, I’ve been feeling much better.” Schwindel said. “I’m just going to continue to build on that and keep it going. When the timing is good, the mechanics are gonna be in sync. It’s been better.”

Over his past 11 games, Schwindel is hitting .286 (12-for-42) with three doubles, two home runs and seven RBIs. His hits and RBIs lead the team during that stretch.

On Sunday, Schwindel also showed patience at the plate. He drew two walks as part of his 1-for-2 day, while also scoring a pair of runs. His average has gone up from .200 to .226 since May 10.

“Everything has gone back up,” Cubs manager David Ross said. “[He’s] hitting the ball hard, taking his walks, and it looks like his timing is there. He’s doing a really nice job in the box for us, swinging the bat well.”

Wisdom has also started to pick up his production. He has homered in three straight games for the first time in his career, and five of his past six hits have gone for extra bases (four homers and one double).

With Wisdom and Schwindel beginning to show more signs of their 2021 form, they should remain a vital part of the Cubs' offense moving forward. On Sunday, their two big bats powered the way to an impressive victory.

“Very nice [win],” Ross said. “The manager is extremely happy right now.”