Kyle Schwarber's statistics say he hit just .197 in the regular season. However, when the NLCS began against the Arizona Diamondbacks, Playoff Schwarber switched into full on mode.
Heading into Monday's NLCS Game 6 in Philadelphia, Schwarber has been absolutely torching Arizona pitching, putting together a slash line of .412/.545/1.353 against the Diamondbacks in this series. And no, that last number isn't a misprint. Thanks to five solo home runs off Arizona pitchers, Schwarber's OPS currently stands at 1.898 in 22 NLCS plate appearances.
Kyle Schwarber's numbers have Arizona Diamondbacks searching for answers
Before Game 6 on Monday, Arizona manager Torey Lovullo was asked about how to slow down Schwarber, especially with the crowd at Citizens Bank Park ready to explode with every Schwarber swing.
"I don't know how to stop him," Lovullo told reporters. "We just can't make mistakes. We know there's holes in there. Every hitter has a hole or two. We just can't get it to the right spot at the right time, but we're going to try like hell today to do that."
Trying is one thing, but actually solving the Schwarber machine is something else. Schwarber is now tied with Derek Jeter for the fourth-most homers in MLB postseason history after hitting his 20th on Saturday night.
Arizona, however, shouldn't feel alone in the struggles to contain Schwarber. Last season in the NLCS against the San Diego Padres, Schwarber launched three home runs, part of his growing lore when the LCS lights come on. With the Chicago Cubs, Boston Red Sox and Phillies, 12 of Schwarber’s 20 career postseason homers have come during LCS play. Those 12 long balls are the second-most in LCS play history, trailing only Manny Ramirez (13).
Can Arizona figure out a way to slow down Schwarber? The answer to that question could also fall into the possibility of the Diamondbacks keeping the series going with a win on Monday night.