Cubs

Kyle Schwarber finds out what Cubs-White Sox is all about

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Kyle Schwarber finds out what Cubs-White Sox is all about

Kyle Schwarber didn’t realize a White Sox fan threw something at him until he got back to his spot in left field.

“Tall boy,” Schwarber said. “It wasn’t even drank all the way.”

Welcome to Chicago.

The Cubs enjoyed the party atmosphere late Saturday night inside U.S. Cellular Field’s visiting clubhouse after a 6-3 victory pushed their winning streak to nine games. Positioned for a crosstown sweep on Sunday, the Cubs are 19 games over .500, only 1.5 games behind the Pittsburgh Pirates for home-field advantage in the wild-card game.

[MORE: Addison Russell arrives ahead of schedule for red-hot Cubs]

The legend of Schwarber grew during what’s becoming an unbelievable rookie season. First, the kind of slight that drives Schwarber to prove people wrong, the doubts about his ability to catch in professional baseball and the perception the Cubs reached with the No. 4 overall pick last year. 

With two outs in the fifth inning of a 1-1 game and a runner on second base, the White Sox had left-hander Jose Quintana intentionally walk Dexter Fowler to pitch to Schwarber, who had struck out and popped out in his first two at-bats. 

Bad move. Schwarber lined an RBI single into right field. 

“I don’t take (anything personally),” Schwarber said. “It’s a smart decision, I guess, to not face a righty and go after a lefty. But it does get a little fire under you.”

The Cubs have generated so much momentum with Schwarber, who’s hitting .315 with eight homers and 27 RBI through his first 33 games in The Show.

[NBC SHOP: Gear up, Cubs fans!]

So when Alexei Ramirez knocked an RBI double into left field in the sixth inning – pulling the White Sox within one run – someone from the sellout crowd chucked a tall boy in Schwarber’s direction.

“I guess that’s what this series is all about,” Schwarber said.

The all-time move would have been for Schwarber to finish the beer right there. But the Cubs already feel almost invincible. After another big win, veteran catcher David Ross stood at his locker yelling at Schwarber while holding court with reporters.

“You should’ve shotgunned it,” Ross said. “That would have been awesome. You would have got points from me. You should have shotgunned it and then went over there and found him.

“I tell you what: I’d hate to try to wrap up Kyle Schwarber. I guarantee you that whoever threw that beer doesn’t want (any) part of Kyle Schwarber. I promise you that one.”

With Cubs reeling, Jon Lester comes up big and plays stopper

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USA TODAY

With Cubs reeling, Jon Lester comes up big and plays stopper

The last three games have been more than forgettable for the Cubs.

From Wednesday’s 11-1 drubbing at the hands of the Phillies to back-to-back walk-off losses on Thursday and Friday, the Cubs’ current road trip has looked much like those that preceded it. At various times, the offense has scuffled, the rotation has pitched a clunker and the bullpen has cracked.

The solution to the latest road trip woes? Give the ball to Jon Lester and get the hell out of the way.

Lester —  who pitched a clunker himself Aug. 6 against the A’s — did what the Cubs have become so accustomed to see him do over the past four seasons. The 35-year-old tossed 6+ shutout innings, allowing just four hits, leading the Cubs to a 2-0 win.

Lester had no room for error on Saturday, as the Cubs offense went hitless for the first 4 1/3 innings. While the Cubs bats were asleep, the Pirates threatened to break the game on open multiple times, loading the bases with one out (first inning), no outs (fifth) and getting runners on first and second with no outs in the sixth.

The latter two of those instances were assisted by errors by third baseman Kris Bryant, but that’s neither here nor there. Point being, with how the Cubs looked offensively, any Pirates runs could have proved critical on Saturday. Instead, Lester worked out of every jam, stymying the Pirates bats to an 0-for-12 line with RISP.

Winning Saturday’s game was obviously important for the Cubs, as it puts them a game ahead of the Cardinals in the win column (pending the outcome of St. Louis's game against the Reds later Saturday). But it was equally important for Lester, who called himself the “weakest link” in the Cubs starting rotation after that tough outing against the A’s.

The beautiful thing about baseball is that the regular season is 162 games long. Each day presents teams with a new slate, a chance to forget about what happened in the previous game and move forward.  If Saturday’s start shows anything, it’s that Lester and the Cubs are more than capable of putting a tough game in the rearview mirror and keep moving forward.

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Cubs Talk Podcast: Get to know Kelly Crull podcast

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NBC Sports Chicago

Cubs Talk Podcast: Get to know Kelly Crull podcast

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

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