The Cup runneth past the Cubs on Tuesday at Wrigley Field. And then Cleveland ran them over.
Little went right for the Cubs after the Blackhawks paraded their championship swagger and trophy around the title-less Confines in a 6-0 loss to the Indians on the final day of a rainout-abbreviated five-game homestand (3-2).
The highlight came with an assist from the Cubs’ game-long issues with ump Phil Cuzzi’s strike zone – catcher Miguel Montero’s eighth-inning argument finally costing him an ejection.
That created what manager Joe Maddon called a “perfect moment” for newly called-up prospect Kyle Schwarber to make his big-league debut – surprisingly behind the plate.
The work-in-progress catcher, who was called up as a lefty bat for the upcoming five-game stretch of designated hitter games, caught the top of the ninth – and unexpectedly wound up catching two different relievers when lefty Zac Rosscup was forced to leave the game because of shoulder stiffness.
Rosscup, who was replaced by Justin Grimm, is expected to go on the DL Wednesday. Right-hander Brian Schlitter, who was optioned to AAA to make room for Schwarber Tuesday, is eligible to return to the roster because of the injury.
Schwarber made made his batting debut leading off the bottom of the inning – to a standing ovation from the remaining crowed as he stepped to the plate against lefty Marc Rzepczynski.
Three pitches later, he struck out looking.
“He got a little baptism right there with the catching experience and with the one at-bat against a lefty that’s really tough on lefties,” Maddon said. “I was not looking for that, but it happened.”
Schwarber, who was drafted fourth overall barely a year ago, was encouraged that he “remained calm” in his first big-league game.
“I was surprised I wasn’t as jacked up as I thought I’d be,” he said. “It is the same game I’ve played for years. Just a lot of people there.”
As for the experience in the bottom of the inning:
“It wasn’t the best at-bat of all,” he said. “But I got the first one out of the way. It can only go up from there.”