CLEVELAND — If it wasn’t official after one game, it definitely is after two of them.
Kyle Schwarber is fine. He is back. He is go for launch.
What a hitter.
But will he be in the lineup at Wrigley Field this weekend? That’s what all Cubs fans will be dying to know. Schwarber, too.
“We’ll see where it goes,” he said after going 2-for-4 with a walk and two RBI in the Cubs’ 5-1 victory in Game 2 of the World Series. “Nothing is set in stone. No one has told me anything, so as of right now the story is still the same.”
Not really. In two nights in the role of to-die-for DH against the Indians, Schwarber has gone from a terrific story to an almost unbelievable one.
His surgically repaired left knee was supposed to prevent him from playing defense in this series, just as surely as it prevented him from playing any baseball at all from early April until Tuesday’s Game 1.
Yet Schwarber was so surprisingly good offensively here — reaching base five times in nine plate appearances — that of course the Cubs will want his giant bat in the No. 5 hole at home. How could they not?
Doctors can be expected to re-examine the 23-year-old slugger Thursday in Chicago. Cubs fans can be expected to freak out until they learn of the results.
The Cubs will, of course, proceed with all due regard for Schwarber’s health. If he isn’t medically cleared to play the field, he’ll lurk for three nights at Wrigley as a terrifying pinch hitter. If he is cleared, look the heck out.
“He’s fearless, man,” Ben Zobrist said.
“There’s not a more impressive thing that I’ve seen in a long time,” added David Ross.
And this gem from Kris Bryant: “They’re going to make a movie out of him.”
The Schwarber we’ve seen so far is strong enough to hoist the Cubs’ offense onto his broad back at any moment, as he did last postseason. He now has 10 RBI in 11 playoff games.
Schwarber drove in his first run of Game 2 with single on a 3-0 count off Indians starter Trevor Bauer. You give the Schwarbers of the world the green light because the ball could end up anywhere, Lake Erie included. Instead, this was merely a screaming line-drive to center that scored Anthony Rizzo to make it 2-0.
To the delight of Twitter, Schwarber punctuated the moment by shouting a slightly — and by slightly we mean extremely — off-color phrase to his teammates in the dugout.
It’s just more fun when this guy plays, isn’t it?
Down two strikes in the fifth inning against reliever Bryan Shaw, Schwarber checked his swing on a cutter he couldn’t hit and then smacked one he could handle right back up the middle to bring in Zobrist for a 4-0 lead.
Facing Danny Salazar in the sixth, Schwarber walked. Tough out, this fella. How did the Cubs ever get this far without him?
“I want to help this team get to the ultimate goal,” he said. “That’s why I did all of this, for these guys in the clubhouse and for our organization. It wasn’t for me.”
Schwarber was asked what’s hardest about coming back from a six-month layoff and playing on the sport’s ultimate stage. The rust? The physical discomfort? The anxiety?
“Hey, man, I’m living the dream,” he said. “We’re playing in the World Series. What else can you ask for? I’m just going to keep riding the wave ’til it ends.”
Follow me on Twitter @slgreenberg.