Even those not paying close attention to the World Series might be hearing the name Kyle Schwarber being thrown around a lot after the first two games. As in, "The Legend of Kyle Schwarber" as the Chicago Cubs catcher puts it, per USA Today. The 23-year-old suffered a devastating knee injury in the third game of the season on April 7 and sat out the rest of the year. In a surprise move, the Cubs put him back in the lineup for the World Series as a designated hitter. After doubling in Game 1—one of the few bright spots for the Cubs that game, which came after TV analyst Pete Rose predicted he'd strike out three times—Schwarber had two RBI singles in the Cubs' Game 2 victory and scored another run himself. He's batting .429 with two walks.
"They're going to make movies about him," says teammate Kris Bryant. No position player has ever recorded his first hit of the season in the World Series. And his "eye" at the plate is astonishing his teammates, notes the Chicago Tribune. The problem for the Cubs is that Schwarber is not medically cleared to play the outfield, but that could change before Friday's game in Chicago, where no designated hitter is allowed. But "the next plot twist— “Will Schwarbs be in left field?'—likely will not be a twist at all," writes Ken Rosenthal at Fox Sports. "He will be in left. He will receive a standing ovation for the ages. He will hit a ball into Lake Michigan, and then ride a chariot down Michigan Avenue, woe to any billy goat that stands in the way."