CINCINNATI — Cubs manager David Ross had to shuffle his lineup at the last minute just before pitching his first pitch in Tuesday’s game between the Cubs and the Reds.
Yan Gomes was a late scratch on a tight left slope that brought first baseman Frank Schwindel down to fifth in the standings as a designated hitter. After impressive performances over the past few days, the switch has barely broken Schwindel’s stride. Schwindel went through a 3-5-5 night with two home runs, taking the Reds 11-4 in the second of four games. Series at the Great American Ball Park.
Livingston, New Jersey, has established itself well in the heart of Chicago this season, and Schwindel is starting to see the hard work he put into his swing translates into results on the field.
“It feels good after a lot of work lately,” said Schwindel, who is batting .273 in his last 15 games. “[I’m] We will continue to work in the cage to build it and hope to see more results like this.”
In the first inning, Schwindel drove the Visiting Cubs early 3-0 lead with a fastball that Reds starting pitcher Tyler Mahle expected 361 feet from right field.
“It was not good to be behind Schwindel,” Mahle said. “I threw a fastball when everyone in the world knew I was throwing a fastball.”
In just two innings, Schwindel managed to catch Male once again, giving him a clean hit in center field. And in the fifth he gave the final blow to the right wing outing with the second attack of the night. This 355 feet was in a similar part of the right wing crowd.
Schwindel batted an impressive .409 at the Great American Ball Park in his first three big league seasons. Tuesday’s game also marked his first multi-home game and gave home runs in three of his last four competitions.
Schwindel’s impressive stretch kicked off with a solo home run in two innings of D-backs starter Madison Bumgarner on Saturday, followed by an opening home run in the eighth to Arizona’s Ian Kennedy the very next day. Both of his home runs against the D-backs were pulled to the left field, while his two home runs at Cincinnati were hit from the opposite direction to the right.
Ross said after the game Schwindel emphasized staying through baseball and using the entire field during batting practice. Schwindel’s full use of the field says a lot about his development as a major league hitter.
“I think his timing just gets better and better every time I see him in the box,” Ross said. “He has a lot of pitches. I think he was really impressed with the breaking ball in the middle.”
“can do [hit to the opposite field] That means I’m doing a lot of things right… It’s definitely a good day,” Schwindel added. “[I’ll be] We want to build on that.”
The appearance of Schwindel, another power bat to pair with Patrick Wisdom, has also paid dividends for the Cubs starting pitchers. Marcus Stroman struggled to find his command in the first inning on Tuesday, but the initial attack he provided allowed him to fix the problem and go deeper into the game.
Stroman appreciated the one-two punch provided by Schwindel and Wisdom.
“They got some really serious pop,” Stroman said. “I think the other players will feed it in the next few games.”