CLEVELAND – On the brink of elimination, the Chicago Cubs are pulling out all the stops, and that means more Kyle Schwarber.
No, they're not cloning him. Just hoping to get him more at-bats and shake up what's been an anemic offense in the World Series.
With the Cubs down three wins to two, the young slugger from Middletown will bat second in Game 6 Tuesday night. Schwarber, hitting .385 in the Series (3-for-8), batted fifth when he DH'd in Games 1 and 2 last week.
Schwarber had only one at-bat as a pinch hitter in the three games in Chicago last week, so he may be a little rusty – which sounds funny since he's coming off a six-month recovery from knee surgery.
Doctors haven't cleared him to play the field, so he couldn't play at Wrigley Field because there's no DH in World Series games in National League parks.
Manager Joe Maddon says he's happy to just get Schwarber into the lineup. Maddon tried to find spots for hnim in Chicago, but his pinch-hit appearance in Game 3 was his only trip to the batter’s box. He was on deck when the Cubs made the final out of their Game 4 loss, and he didn’t even get that close during a Game 5 win.
“I’m a much bigger fan of the National League game in general, but under these circumstances where we are right now in the year, I’ll take that American League game just to get Schwarbs involved,” Maddon said.
Batting Schwarber between two right-handed hitters, CF Dexter Fowler and 3B Kris Bryant, may also minimize the effects of left-handed shutdown reliever Andrew Miller.
RF Jayson Heyward is making his third straight start after a four-game benching. He was 2 for 31 (.033) with one RBI in the postseason before getting two hits in Game 3. He is 3 for 11 in the Series.