SAN DIEGO – Some of the great memories of the Cubs’ run of the second half of the 2010s concerned their 2014 first round draft pick and some of his sizable blasts off the bat.
That was especially true in the 2015 playoffs when long home runs in the Wild Card game against the Pirates and Game 4 of the NLDS against the Cardinals put Kyle Schwarber into Cubs’ postseason lore.
While his time in Chicago has come to an end, his tendency to slug playoff homers has not. That was the case on Tuesday night when Schwarber hit one of his trademark round-trippers off a former Cubs’ teammate.
In the sixth inning of Game 1 of the National League Championship Series at Petco Park, the Phillies left fielder hit a mammoth 488-foot home run into the second deck off Yu Darvish, whom he was a teammate with in Chicago from 2018-2020.
It was one of two runs that Philadelphia got off the starter in a 2-0 victory over San Diego to take the lead in the best-of-seven series.
Per Statcast, the home run was the longest of Schwarber’s career and, at 119.7 miles per hour off the bat, is the hardest-hit postseason homer since the system was introduced into Major League Baseball in 2015.
After hitting the blast off Darvish, Schwarber now is second all-time in the Statcast era when it comes to the distance of a postseason homer, just behind former Cubs teammate Willson Contreras’ 491-foot solo homer in Game 4 of the 2017 NLCS against the Dodgers.
That was the outfielder’s first home run of the 2022 postseason and the tenth of his career, with five of those coming in the 2015 playoffs. Schwarber led the National League in homers this past season with 46, which is a career-high, besting the 38 he hit with the Cubs in the 2019 season.