Unusually for someone who's lived his whole life in Indiana, I'm a Mets fan. My dad is from New Jersey, born the same year the team was, and even though I've only had the opportunity to see them live a few times in my life I never really clicked with any of the baseball teams within driving distance. I was raised to #LoveTheMets, so this has been a pretty interesting year for me.
I'm also (duh) an IU fan, and a graduate of the same, so as a baseball guy through and through the 2013 College World Series run was amazing fun for me. One of the highlights was, of course, watching Kyle Schwarber hit the living bejeezus out of the ball. Here is one example of him doing just that:
Indiana's Kyle Schwarber just absolutely crushed a home run and then showed some "swag" with the bat flip. WATCH http://t.co/AryGAcW7NG— Big Ten Network (@BigTenNetwork) May 25, 2014
So yeah, when Schwarber got drafted and later called up to the big leagues, I was excited. Even though I'm not (remotely) a Cubs fan, I knew I'd root for him to do well, as long as it wasn't against the Mets. It just didn't occur to me at the time that "against the Mets" would be happening in the playoffs. So now I have the dubious honor of rooting against Kyle Schwarber. It's not very fun!
Rooting against Kyle Schwarber is somewhat akin to rooting against a natural disaster. You just know something awful is going to happen to you, and you're not going to be able to stop it, and it's probably going to end up on the news. In Game 1 of the NLCS, Schwarber did this to Matt Harvey (and by extension, to my soul). In Game 2 he faced Tyler Clippard in the eighth inning with a man on base, down three runs – a home run wouldn't even have tied the game, but I found myself standing on the far side of my parents' living room, as if getting away from the television would help. I guess I thought if Schwarber hit the ball hard enough, it would make the TV explode. Honestly, is that really far from possible? Clippard got him to fly out, somehow, and that's when I decided the Mets were probably winning that game. He was the final boss.
Every time the man comes to the plate, I assume violence is about to be performed. His outs are scary. His hits are worse. I'm reading something on Fangraphs about Schwarber and how the Mets have handled him in the series, and it contains this passage:
I should note: this certainly isn’t being written because Schwarber is struggling, it’s being written because Schwarber’s been arguably the best hitter in the postseason thus far, and so each Schwarber at-bat carries a greater sense of magnitude.
He's only a few months into his career, but already "each...at-bat carries a greater sense of magnitude." Yeah, I can vouch for that. The man haunts my nightmares, like a thicker Freddy Krueger. When he faces Jacob deGrom tonight, I'll be hiding again. I'll be hiding from Kyle Schwarber until this series is over. And probably longer.