Okay, listen …
Kyle Schwarber is not the best defensive left fielder in baseball. I think we can all agree on that. Where I think I’ll lose some of you, however, is in my insistence that he’s not the worst one either. He doesn’t have tremendous range, but he rarely misses balls that hit his glove, he plays with intensity, and he certainly has a good arm.
I suspect the “he’s a total defensive non-starter” narrative is related to the fact that he’s a big physical presence, is somewhat slow, and previously made two jarring, highy-visible defensive mistakes – AS A ROOKIE – in the 2015 postseason.
Unfortunately, he made another couple of costly mistakes (on one play) last night, once again on baseball’s biggest stage, and they were memorable in the worst way possible (MLB.com):
Missing a catch on a ball that hits your glove is one thing, but then booting it away while the runner can advance two bases to third is a whole other level of oh geeze just make it stop.
On top of that, of course, there were already two outs in the inning, so a catch could’ve been the end of it. It wasn’t. Instead, the Cubs were forced to take out a cruising Jose Quintana, and the first run of the game immediately scored. It was a bummer and a frustratingly bad, bad play.
And then his teammates, including the guy who pinch hit for him, immediately picked him up and erased the deficit Schwarber’s error had helped to create.
Here’s what Schwarber had to say on it:
Kyle Schwarber stopped his postgame session with reporters to own his mistake: "There's no excuse." pic.twitter.com/mWWF3b9CAl
— Tony Andracki (@TonyAndracki23) October 10, 2017
But unlike the rest of us on Twitter, the comment section, and elsewhere, the Cubs didn’t let it get them down. They picked their teammate right up and brought home a Cubs win anyway:
Q pitched his butt off and the boys picked me up. That's what this team does- picks each other up and never quits. #FlyTheW
— Kyle Schwarber (@kschwarb12) October 10, 2017
And remember: Bad stuff is going to happen. Errors are going to happen. Strikeouts are going to happen. If you want to go all the way, you have to expect the worst to happen and weather it anyway. Hopefully, the Cubs and Schwarber got their fill of some bad stuff last night, and play tight the rest of October.
And if they don’t, well, they’ll have to just keep picking each other up and finding other ways to win.