In his past 16 games, since the first time Davey Martinez moved him into the leadoff spot this season, Kyle Schwarber is 18 for 57 (.316/.388/.947) with 12 home runs, 24 RBIs, eight walks, and 21 Ks in 67 PAs. Eight of those 12 home runs have come in the past five games, and Schwarber, 28, knows how ridiculous this run is, and that it’s not likely to last.
“This game is not easy, at all,” Schwarber said after his 5th multi-home run game in the last 11 games. “I firmly believe that this is one of hardest games in all professional sports. And when you’re doing something like this, you kind of just sit bat and laugh, because you don’t want it to end, so that’s why you just keep going and doing work.
“It’s the reality of this game that I’m probably not going to keep doing this the whole year, it’s physically impossible to keep doing this. But I just want to keep going as much as I can, and I want to keep putting in good at bats. And if it’s a home run so be it, but you know if it’s an RBI single that’s a jam shot over the third baseman’s head, I’ll be just as happy, and I think the team will be too. That’s the big thing — is just we’re going in there, we’re all not trying to hit home runs, we’re all just going up there trying to put in good at bats and pass the baton and score runs for our starters.”
In 16 games since Martinez first tried Schwarber atop his lineup on June 8th, the Nationals are 12-4 overall, with wins in 10 of the last 11, and five straight after last night’s 7-3 win over Miami’s Marlins in South Florida. The fact that Schwarber’s run coincides with the club’s, is something that makes it more enjoyable for the hard-hitting outfielder.
“It’s a little bit more satisfying that we’re going out there and we’re winning baseball games, and it makes it a lot more satisfying actually. Trust me, I wouldn’t care if I was doing this and we’re going out there and losing baseball games,” Schwarber said.
“I still wouldn’t be happy, but now that we’re out there winning baseball games, and we’re going out there and we’re playing really good baseball, it’s definitely very satisfying.
“I’m not the only component to this, trust me. This is a team game, this is not a one-person game, you need your pitcher, you need your catcher calling a good game, you need the defensive guys behind, you need everyone to keep putting in key at bats, passing that baton to whoever it is that’s going to drive in runs. This has been really good baseball that we’ve been playing, and I’m excited to see what the future keeps holding for the team.”
Schwarber’s contributions, (which include five leadoff home runs in the club’s first at bat of the game after he hit another last night), manager Davey Martinez said, are a “huge, major part” of what’s going on with the Nationals in recent weeks. “He sparks us when he gets up there that first inning and puts us on the board. I’ve talked often about scoring first, and he gives us the opportunity to do that right away right now. So, and the guys are following suit. Guys are having good at bats, they’re putting the ball in play, and our pitching is doing well, so we got to continue to do what we’re doing right now.”
Will the Nationals win a season-high sixth straight tonight? Will Schwarber homer again? We find out at 7:05 PM ET.