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.
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.”