Chicago Cubs outfielder Kyle Schwarber has had a ton of respect for David Ross from the very first day he arrived in the major leagues, so you just knew that their little dust-up on Sunday night wasn't going to fester.
Ross, a former World Series-winning teammate of Schwarber's with the Cubs who is now his manager, yanked his left fielder out of Sunday's game after it appeared that Schwarber played a ball a little too casually.
But on Monday, Ross penciled him right back in the lineup, starting him in left field against the Pittsburgh Pirates, and Schwarber responded with a second-inning double that led to the go-ahead run and he added a two-run double later to lead the Cubs to a 5-0 win over the Pirates.
There's no surprise to any of that, because Schwarber got called out and accepted it, then learned from it and right right back to work.
“Yesterday wasn’t the most ideal day for me, and today was a new day," Schwarber said. “It is what it is. I spoke with (Ross), and we turned the page. There’s nothing personal, and I didn’t take anything personal. I talked to the guys, too, talked to the team, and reassured them that, hey, let’s not make this a thing and move on to today.”
Schwarber did exactly that. This was his first multi-hit game since Sept. 3.
Schwarber has had a great relationship with Ross from the first day the former Indiana star showed up in Chicago in 2015. Ross, then the veteran backup catcher, took Schwarber under his wing and showed him the ropes.
That bond is close — and will remain that way. Ross is his manager now, but he's still Rossy and he still earns everyone's respect..
“David Ross, I can speak for the whole team. He’s got our undivided confidence and respect,'' Schwarber said. "Knowing that this guy is a leader, this guy is an unbelievable manager, we’re going to do whatever he tells us to do.
“David Ross is the manager, but he’s also a mentor to me and I have a lot of respect for him. You learn. To be able to joke about it now, it’s just who we are.”
Schwarber's blunder in the field Sunday came during a time where's he's really been struggling at the plate as well. During his last 14 games since Sept. 5, he was just 2-for-39 before Monday night, an .051 and his season average has fallen below .200 as well.
Several Cubs stars, including Javy Baez, Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo, have all been struggling at the plate, but the Cubs have been winning anyway. With the win Monday night, the Cubs are now 32-22 and closing in on the National League Central title. They have a 4.5-game lead with six games to go.
Having a blowout win was great for easing any tension. Everyone was able to joke about things, even Ross, who got a friendly dig into Schwarber too after his first double of the night.
“I told him he stretched that first single into a double because he had fresh legs from yesterday,” Ross said. “Kyle Schwarber is a true professional in every sense of the word, and I’ll leave it at that.”
The Cubs got a great start from veteran lefty Jon Lester, who pitched six shutout innings and allowed only four hits and a walk. It was his third straight solid outing after getting shelled for five runs in back-to-back outings in early September. He has a 1.06 ERA in his last three starts and may have worked his way back into the Cubs' first-round playoff series rotation.
Other 'Hoosiers in the Pros' on Monday
- Alex Dickerson, San Francisco Giants: Dickerson returned from paternity leave — it's a boy! — and had a big night in the Giants' 7-2 loss to the Colorado Rockies. Dickerson was 3-for-4 with a homer, double and a single, and his batting average is now up to .290, going up a whopping 95 points since Aug. 28. During that time, he is 23-for-54 —a .426 average — with six homers and six doubles during that 17-game stretch.
- Caleb Baragar, San Francisco Giants: Baragar didn't pitch in the Giants' loss.
- Aaron Slegers, Tampa Bay Rays: Slegers did not pitch Monday as the Rays beat the New York Mets 2-1. With the win, the Rays moved to 35-19 on the season and have a 4.5-game lead on the New York Yankees with five games to go.
- Jonathan Stiever, Chicago White Sox: Stiever did not pitch in Chicago's 7-4 loss to the Cleveland Indians.
- * Kyle Hart, Boston Red Sox: The Red Sox placed Hart on the 45-day injury list on Tuesday, so his season is done with Boston. He struggled in his major-league debut, appearing in four games — three starts — but allowing 19 runs and 24 hits in just 11 innings.
- * Josh Phegley, Chicago Cubs: Phegley was designated for assignment by the Cubs and was sent to their alternate site on Sept. 3.
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- EARLY ARRIVAL: The young and rebuilding Chicago White Sox have reached the playoffs a year ahead of schedule. CLICK HERE
- MLB POWER RANKINGS: As we head into the final week of the regular season, herer's how we rank everyone, from 1-to-30. CLICK HERE
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Scores, schedule and standings
- For the most up-to-date scores and schedule, CLICK HERE
- For the updated MLB standings in real time, CLICK HERE
Related 'Hoosiers in the Pros' stories
- Sunday, Sept. 20: Strugging Chicago Cubs left fielder Kyle Schwarber gets benched after misplaying fly ball. CLICK HERE
- Saturday, Sept. 19: Aaron Slegers becoming a key piece of the Tampa Bay Rays' standout bullpen. CLICK HERE
- Sunday, Sept. 13: Jonathan Stiever gets nine straight outs to end first start in his major-league debut for the Chicago White Sox. CLICK HERE
- Monday, Sept. 1: San Francisco Giants outfielder Alex Dickerson has a record day, hitting three homers and two doubles. CLICK HERE
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