How the Chicago Cubs went from pretenders to contenders

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Credit: Caylor Arnold-USA TODAY Sports

The Cubs got swept by the Philadelphia Phillies…

The Cubs just spent the weekend getting swept by the Phillies. To give you an idea of how bad they must have felt, the Phillies owned the worst record in baseball. THE WORST!

To add insult to injury, they also got no-hit by Cole Hamels, who was days away from getting traded to the Texas Rangers.

Something big happened, however.

Maddon put Schwarber into the lineup. And kept him in the lineup pretty much for the rest of the season.

Even though Schwarber was a catcher by trade, Maddon put him into the outfield so he could get his bat in the lineup. He was called up earlier in the season when the Cubs were playing some American League teams, and he was the designated hitter.

Miguel Montero injured his shoulder, so the Cubs called up Schwarber. David Ross was the starter at catcher. Schwarber played some catcher, and when Montero came back, Maddon decided to try to find a way to keep Schwarber’s bat.

After Schwarber got into the lineup, the Cubs exploded. They went on a 22-5 tear between July 27th to August 25th.

Schwarber finished the season hitting .246/.355/.487 with 16 home runs and 43 RBI in just 232 at-bats.

In the postseason, he has been even better. He is hitting .538/.600/1.231 with 3 home runs and 5 RBI. His last home run went into Cubs’ lore, having landed on the Budweiser sign on top of the right field video board.

Schwarber and his bat certainly made an impact on the Chicago Cubs’ season.