Kyle Schwarber, Javy Baez, and Bryce Harper Put on a Show at the Home Run Derby (VIDEO)

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Kyle Schwarber, Javy Baez, and Bryce Harper Put on a Show at the Home Run Derby (VIDEO)

Chicago Cubs

Last night, Kyle Schwarber and Javy Baez represented the Chicago Cubs in the 2018 Home Run Derby and it was freakin’ awesome.

Before the night started I went on about how much I loved the event, but last night brought it to an entirely new level. That was easily the best HR Derby of my lifetime, and that includes the time Barry Bonds was intentionally walked at the derby back in 2004.

Baez went into the event as the 6 seed, squaring off against the Dodgers’ Max Muncy, but although Baez put up a strong 16 homers in his four minutes (which would’ve beat Bryce Harper in round one and tied Kyle Schwarber), Muncy threw up 17 and advanced to the semi-finals.

But because Javy is Javy, you know he still left his mark on the derby, and that includes the longest homer of the first round (and ultimately the night):

Baez’s third homer of the evening traveled 479 feet and left the bat at 108 MPH. That’s an absolute BOMB, even in a derby, and was deserving of some love.

But the real star of the night (well, other than the winner) was Kyle Schwarber, whose 55 home runs (with a bonus round he didn’t even need to use) led the event and took him all the way to the final round. But before that was PLENTY of excitement. Schwarber won each of his first two rounds (Alex Bregman and Rhys Hoskins) by just one home run, including an absolute insane hot streak and literal buzzer beater at the end of the semifinals.

Relive the excitement:

Here’s a look at all 21 homers, Mr. Schwarber hit this round:

And the bat flip …

And that brought us to the finals.

Although my number 1 wish was to see Javy Baez versus Kyle Schwarber in the championship – because MY GOD would that have been awesome – watching Schwarber take on Bryce Harper was about as close to a perfect consolation prize as it gets. And of course, they did not disappoint at all.

Going first against the home town hero, Kyle Schwarber put up a massive 18 home runs on the board. Keep in mind, he’d already taken the most big hacks in the event at that point, so he was gassed. And he STILL put up 18.

Here’s a quick highlight reel of those shots:

But behind the stands as Schwarber was taking hacks, Bryce Harper was warming up … with a few bunts:

And apparently that paid off. After starting off his final round very slowly, Harper went on an absolute tear with eight straight homers at one point. He then tied Schwarber on the FINAL swing of his regulation time and won it all with the second swing of his home run in bonus time:

It’s not easy to top this moment:

I saw some people complain about Harper’s Dad, the pitcher, not waiting until the balls were landing to throw another pitch in there, but … ah, come one. That was as thrilling as the event could have been, and the fact that it was Harper winning it in extra-time in front of his hometown fans in what’s likely to be his final season in Washington D.C.?! That’s amazing.

After the event, two finalists gave each other some love, which is a good thing because they’ll be patrolling the outfield together at Wrigley Field this time next year or something:

And finally, before the night’s events, I made a promise to donate $1 to Make-A-Wish for the #BNBlogathon for every home run hit by Javy Baez and Kyle Schwarber last night, which all added up to a grand total $71.00!

So here’s my proof:

Brett did the same thing, but added an extra $100 for Schwarber making the final round:

And with the additional love from some BN readers, we’ve already gotten up to $5,536 total dollars as of me writing this, which is nearly half-way to our goal!

So get over to Make-A-Wish and donate. ANY donation you can give, helps, no matter how small. Whaddaya say we make a couple of kids’ dreams come true … and send Brett on a 40-hour blogging-spree into madness? Sounds good to me.

(Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

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Author: Michael Cerami

Michael Cerami covers the Chicago Cubs, Bears, and Bulls at Bleacher Nation. You can find him on Twitter @Michael_Cerami