Home Run Derby Recap

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I'm going to come right out and say this, I will give short shrift to the non-Cubs match ups in this derby recap. Man, was that a lot of fun to watch especially Kyle and Javy. Let's get to the dongs shall we?

First the non-Cubs in the opening round. Rhys Hoskins hit 17 homers to beat surprise Brewers star Jesus Aguilar. Hometown hero, for now, Bryce Harper easily bested Freddy Freeman only needing 13 homers to top the Braves first baseman.

Kyle Schwarber took on the Astros Alez Bregman in round one. Schwarbs got off to a relatively slow start his first few swings not doing much at all. Then War Bear turned it on big time down the stretch piling up the dingers and ending with 16. As an added treat, Javy provided commentary during Schwarber's turn and it was just as awesome as you would expect. Bregman wasn't hitting majestic homers, but he got uncomfortably close to Kyle. A potential tying homer came up just short of the mark and Schwarber advanced.

Javy Baez faced Max (I assume this name was a create a player on MLB the Show) Muncy in the opening round. Javy was getting pitched to by his big brother Gadiel, who had a bit of trouble getting on the same page as his bro. Once they did El Mago got red-hot putting up 16 bombs of his own, including a majestic 479 foot blast. Then for reasons that strain for logic, Muncy got a turn. He proceeded to hit 17 homers to advance, not only to the next round, but on to my personal enemies list.

War Bear then faced Hoskins in the semi-finals, Rhys went first and posted a fear inducing 20 homers. Kyle Schwarber is scared of no mortal baseballer and took on the challenge with gusto. At first, again he started slow, but that was just to build the drama. Then an epic homer explosion followed, pitch after pitch smashed deep into the Capital air. Finally, as the clock hit zero, he hit his 21st and winning homer with an epic bat flip to boot.

Possible (dare I say likely?) Cub Bryce Harper quickly dispatched known bum Max Muncy to reach the final. Our large adult son once again put on an epic display in the final with 18 dongs to give him a total of 55 for the night. Of course, it appears things were rigged for the home town Harper, who barely pulled out the win in bonus time with 19.

Both Cubs gave truly an outstanding effort and Javy has a definite future in broadcasting. Kyle especially was impressive and he'll get a chance to revenge his loss when both he and Harper are taking batting practice on the Cubs next year.

I wanted to end with a guest comment. Many of you may know Amelia Griffith from her work on twitter (her handle is @ameliacubs12). She is without a doubt the biggest Kyle Schwarber fan on earth. So I solicited her opinion on Schwarber's performance and his season in general. I have to say it's pretty good, give her a follow. Here are her closing thoughts....

I’m just really proud of what he’s accomplished so far in 2018. It’s finally feeling like after a rollercoaster of ups and downs he’s really started to find his footing and it feels like he’s settling into what’s going to be an absolutely phenomenal career. He’s gotten really good at getting on base and has developed so much patience at the plate, but those 55 derby home runs were such a fun reminder that at his core he is a slugger, and I’ll be holding out for a season where he actually hits that many.      

 

Filed under: Cubs

Tags: Javy Baez, kyle schwarber

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    It was great to watch. I never thought Javy would do that well, but he did. Schwarbs was out of rhythm but when he found it he hit them long.
    Whatever problems Harper has had this year he can hit, and I'm sure that if Joe had him and stressed going the other way he would be a threat every time up. That would be fun to see.

  • This was my first time watching in several years. I enjoyed it, although the fact that I didn't have to listen to Chris Berman accounted for much of that enjoyment. I do have one question. If they're going to have a rule that the pitcher can't pitch until the last ball has landed, why don't they enforce it?

  • In reply to cubbydon:

    My thoughts exactly. I thought that was kinda lame that they let Bryce's dad get away with that so much. I don't think it changes the outcome, but if you account for the time that the last couple pitches came earlier, there's no way Bryce's last HR in regulation would've counted. He still would've easily won in his extra 30 seconds, but it would've actually been just a little more dramatic than needing to hit just 1 HR in the extra time. So in essence, holding all the contestants to the rules, would've actually made it even more exciting. Just think if Bryce hit the winning shot right before the clock hit zero, instead of 20 some seconds remaining.

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    In reply to cubbydon:

    Personally I think it is a dumb rule. I want to see LONG HR so why do anything to discourage that? If they give 2 seconds between swings there should be plenty of spacing that no one gets hurt. Go ahead and have "picture in picture" with one tracking the landing of the ball and the other showing the batter at the plate.

  • Maybe I shouldn’t say this but....

    I know it’s just an exhibition, I know it’s just a show, I know it doesn't count for anything but a rule is a rule. What do you answer to a kid if he asks, “but Dad, isn’t he supposed to wait until the one he just hit lands”?

    As soon as the last one went into the air I flipped channels.

  • I don't and didn't watch. It's not for me. Boring! It's good for young fans tho.

  • I hadn’t watched one in a dozen years or more but man, that was fun. Nice to see our guys put on a show.

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    I think they should be able to hit as soon as the pitch is thrown even when the previous hit ball is still going out. Be like the 3 point contest in the NBA--they get the ball and shoot it while the other is still in the air, they don't wait until it goes in or not. That would be exciting.

  • I hate the HR Derby and refuse to watch - except I did, only because Javy and Schwarbs were in it. Wasn't it strange that 7 of 8 contestants were from the NL? I guess I just don't understand the selection process. That said, Schwarber put on an incredible performance to beat Hoskins in the 2nd round. I also had a fleeting thought that the outcome was rigged - it was so convenient that Harper fell way behind and then came back, hitting at a pace he didn't match in the first two rounds. But Schwarber only hit one in his bonus period and says he was tired, and that makes sense. The boys did their fans (US) proud. Javy wearing Clemente's jacket was cheesy / emotional / fantastic!

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