With Kyle Schwarber and Anthony Rizzo set to lead off for their respective new teams tonight, Cub fans are painfully reminiscing what used to be.
In 2016, the Chicago Cubs were crowned World Series champions after taking a seven-game series against the Cleveland Indians. Two of the bright spots for the team were Anthony Rizzo and Kyle Schwarber. Over the next four seasons, the two were keys to the club’s success and were beloved by the entire fanbase.
Fast forward to 2021 and neither is wearing a Cubs’ uniform to start the 2021 MLB playoffs. Instead, tonight, Rizzo is leading off for the New York Yankees, while Schwarber is the lead-off man for the Boston Red Sox and they’re going up against each other. That smells like pain for Cubs fans.
Cubs: AL Wild Card game a tough watch
With both first at-bats for their new teams, they’ll make MLB history for being the first pair of former teammates the previous season to lead off against one another the next postseason.
After nine seasons in Chicago, Rizzo was traded to New York just before this season’s trade deadline. His 242 home runs rank him sixth all-time in Cubs history.
Schwarber signed with the Nationals during the offseason but was traded to Boston at the deadline. He was the best lead-off hitter in the MLB this season with a 1.216 OPS, according to ESPN and his 32 homers garnered him the first All-Star appearance of his career.
To start the night, the Yankees will roll out Gerrit Cole who has a 7.64 ERA over his last three starts, according to Elias Sports. The last time Cole and Scwarber met in a Wild Card game was in 2015 when the latter smashed home a 450-yard homer against Cole, who was then with the Pirates.
Cubs fans hold on to your beer, you might need it tonight.