SAN FRANCISCO – He was standing on second base in the fourth with his team down one and two outs in the inning hoping not to get swept by the National League’s best team.
Yet Ian Happ had a good feeling when he looked toward the person at the plate.
“He hits a homer every time,” said the outfielder when he saw Patrick Wisdom was at the plate. “As soon as he hit it I was like ‘Oh, there’s another one.'”
Indeed he was right, as the third baseman’s long drive to center easily cleared the wall for his second homer of the day to tie the game at three. The Cubs would get a run in the fifth and hold on for a 4-3 victory that prevented a sweep at the hands of the Giants on their home field.
“Those homers come when I’m not trying to do too much,” said Wisdom of his performance, and he’s been doing that more lately.
One of the surprises of the 2021 season, Wisdom had three homers in the last two games for the Cubs, which are part of seven that he has in just 36 plate apperances. He’s driven in ten runs while hitting .412/.444/1.088 and was named as the NL’s Player of the Week on Monday.
“He’s been carrying us,” said manager David Ross of Wisdom. “I feel like he’s been a real offense force for us right now, right? It seems like every time he gets in the box, you feel like he’s going to do something really good to help the team, real damage.”
Especially during the week that just past, when he hit .435 with six homers with nine RBI with a 1.719 OPS. It’s easily the best stretch of his MLB career which encompasses 56 games with the Cardinals, Rangers, and Cubs with a brief preseason stop with the Mariners in 2020.
Wisdom debuted with the Cubs in 2020 when he signed with the team after getting let go by Seattle, appearing in two late season games with a pair of at-bats. This year his opportunity has been more substantial, but it came with plenty of time in the minors in his career.
Drafted by the Cardinals in 2012, Wisdom has been either in Triple-A or the majors since 2016, which is experience he believes has led to this surge early in the 2021 season.
“Playing for a long time at the Triple-A level and getting spurts in the big leagues here and there, it’s definitely helped me ease my mind in terms of not being bigger than the moment, just playing the game,” said Wisdom. “It’s the same game. It’s 60 feet, six inches and the bases are all the same.
“There’s another deck on the stadium and there’s more cameras. There’s bigger things but it’s the same game.”
But he’s playing a lot differently than before, and his teammates like Happ do appreciate it.