The Schwarbs is back in Chicago.
The Cubs recalled Kyle Schwarber from Triple-A Iowa early Thursday morning.
The left-handed slugger was sent down to the minors on June 22 after struggling to the tune of a .171 batting average (the lowest among qualified big-league hitters) and .673 OPS in 64 games.
Schwarber was sent down to regain confidence and fine-tune his swing so he could get back to doing damage on fastballs.
Think it's safe to say Schwarber accomplished that goal.
After a few days off to clear his head, Schwarber reported to Iowa and mashed, hitting four homers and driving in nine runs in 11 games to go with a .343/.477/.714 slash line (1.192 OPS). Schwarber walked eight times against 12 strikeouts.
Schwarber could be the July boost this Cubs team needs as his bat changes the landscape of this lineup, especially if he can help bring stability to the leadoff spot.
It's also worth noting Schwarber dealt with some bad luck this season, as his .193 batting average on balls in play (BABIP) illustrates.
In a corresponding move, the Cubs placed John Lackey on the 10-day disabled list with plantar fasciitis in his right foot. The team had already moved around their rotation to give Lackey some extra rest and with the four-day All-Star Break coming up next week, Lackey may not even miss a start.
On the latest Cubs Talk Podcast, we get to know Kelly Crull. Kelly tells Luke Stuckmeyer about her love of bowling growing up, why she became a reporter and some of her favorite moments covering the Cubs.
01:00 Kelly's love of tennis at an early age
04:00 Following basketball while growing up in Indiana
06:00 Possible tennis showdown between Kelly and Megan Mawicke
09:30 Kelly talks about working in London & interviewing J.K. Rowling
14:00 When did she decide to become a reporter?
15:00 What is her favorite food?
16:00 Kelly's go-to karaoke song
18:00 Kelly's favorite NBA story (it involves Kevin Durant)
21:00 Favorite moments covering the Cubs
24:00 Dealing with the weather at Wrigley Field
28:00 Something we don't know about Kelly
31:00 What does Kelly enjoy watching at home the most?
Listen to the full podcast here or via the embedded player below:
Cubs Talk Podcast
Kyle Hendricks’ last start on August 10 start against the Cincinnati Reds was his worst start of the season. He gave up 12 hits and 7 ER in 2.2 innings pitched amid a dreadful 10-1 loss, so Friday’s game against the last-place Pittsburgh Pirates was exactly what ‘The Professor’ needed to get back to his usual excellence. Unfortunately, it couldn’t help the right ship when it comes to the Cubs’ woeful road record.
This season Hendricks has fallen in line with the Cubs overall struggles on the road, as he is 4-7 with a 5.16 ERA away from Wrigley Field but PNC Park was quite kind to Hendricks on Friday night. He was extremely efficient on the night, tossing seven innings of three-hit ball, giving up one walk and one earned run.
Hendricks’ seven-innings pitched on Friday makes it back-to-back quality starts of the Cubs starters, following Yu Darvish’s squandered 10-strikeout outing on Thursday. Friday’s game also extends Hendricks run of dominance against the Pirates.
But the road woes won out as the Cubs bullpen--which was without several of their best relief arms on Thursday--was terrible again, giving up six earned runs for the second night in a row.
The bullpen did get some good news on Friday night, which was the return of relief pitcher Brandon Kintzler, who had not pitched since August 5. But--and almost no good Cubs news is without a but these days--Kintzler was called up in the ninth inning with one out to nail down the save and things went poorly, fast.
Three-straight walks and a Kevin Newman single later, and the Cubs had suffered their second-straight walk-off loss.
Hopefully, the Cubs have a short memory as they will get a chance to avenge Friday’s loss on Saturday afternoon at PNC Park. The North Siders are in the midst of a four-game losing streak and will have Jon Lester on the mound on Saturday. Lester has given up a combined 17 earned runs over his last three starts but had a quality start in his last outing against the Pirates, so as Kris Bryant stated, the Cubs have to “keep going”.
Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream Cubs games easily on your device.