MLB Hoosiers (Sept. 25): Kyle Schwarber Homers in Cubs' Rout of White Sox
The Chicago Cubs snapped out of their hitting slump in a big way on Friday night, smacking around the Chicago White Sox in a 10-0 win. They hit five home runs, including a long blast from Kyle Schwarber to lead off the scoring in the second inning.
Schwarber finished 2-for-3 on the day as the Cubs moved to 33-25 on the season with two games to go. It was Schwarber's 11th home run of the season, but his first since Sept. 1. He had a single later, but gave everyone a good laugh when he stumbled over first base and took a good fall.
The Cubs' magic number to clinch the National League Central is down to one for the Cubs, who came into this final series of the regular season scuffling at the plate. They had lost three in a row to last-place Pittsburgh, and scored only three runs in three games, so this was a welcomed explosion.
"I like the homers," Cubs manager David Ross said. "That's getting back to what these guys do."
Yu Darvish allowed only three hits and struck out five in seven innings, lowering his earned run average to 2.01, second-best in the National League.
The two teams meet again on Saturday at 7:10 p.m. ET
The White Sox are struggling, too. They have now lost six games in a row and in the span of one week have gone from the No. 1 in the AL playoffs to the No. 7 seed. They are one game behind the Minnesota Twins in the American League Central, tied with the Cleveland Indians.
Other 'Hoosiers in the Pros' on Thursday
- Alex Dickerson, San Francisco Giants: Dickerson and the Giants split a doubleheader with the San Diego Padres, winning the opener 5-4 and losing the nightcap 6-5. Dickerson was was 1-for-3 with a single in the first game and went 0-for-2 in the nightcap, reaching on an error and scoring. The loss in Game 2 hurt when the Padres won it on a walk-off three run homer by Trent Grisham. The Giants are now 29-29, and are clinging to the final playoff spot in the National League with two games to go.
- Caleb Baragar, San Francisco Giants: Baragar pitched a scoreless fourth inning in the nightcap, allowing only a single and striking out two batters. It was his 16th consecutive appearance without allowing a run.
- Jonathan Stiever, Chicago White Sox: Stiever did not pitch in the 10-0 loss to the Chicago Cubs.
- Aaron Slegers, Tampa Bay Rays: Slegers did not pitch in the 6-4 win against the Philadelphia Phillies. The Rays rallied from a three-run deficit for the win, which raised their record to 38-20, the best in the American League.
- * 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.
If the playoffs started today ...
There were 10 combined changes on Wednesday and Thursday, so it was no surprise that four more spots switched again after Friday's games, all in the American League.
The biggest change Friday was that the Cincinnati Reds clinched a spot in the NL playoffs, and we have our eight-team field in the AL with Toronto and Houston clinching the final spots.
The first round is a best-of-three series, playing at the home ballpark of the higher seed. There is still plenty on the line on Saturday and Sunday.
Here's what the playoff bracket would look like as of Saturday morning.
- No. 1 Tampa Bay Rays vs. No. 8 Toronto Blue Jays
- No. 4 Cleveland Indians vs. No. 5 New York Yankees
- No. 3 Minnesota Twins vs. No. 6 Houston Astros
- No. 2 Oakland A's vs. No. 7 Chicago White Sox
- No. 1 Los Angeles Dodgers vs. No. 8 San Francisco Giants
- No. 4 San Diego Padres vs. No. 5 St. Louis Cardinals
- No. 3 Chicago Cubs vs. No. 6 Miami Marlins
- No. 2 Atlanta Braves vs. No. 7 Cincinnati Reds