Kyle Schwarber has 16 home runs in 18 games, and shows no signs of letting up

Kyle Schwarber hit a 434-foot home run in the first inning of the Nationals' game against the Rays. (0:38). Kyle Schwarber, a veteran left-hander Rich Hill's opponent, was the hot hitter in the game and he took the bat to the plate. Hill isn't a great thrower, but he does have a huge curveball and can sometimes drop down. Hill is also tough on lefties. He entered the game in 2021 hitting.143 against him without a homer in 56 at-bats. Hill was not homered off by lefties in 2020, though that was only 17 at-bats. They only homered against him once in 2019. Hill seemed like a pitcher who could finally slow Schwarber down. Hill's first pitch was a fastball at 83.4 mph. Hill may have thought Schwarber wouldn't swing even though he swings at the first pitch 32% of the times. Schwarber hit the elevated fastball and connected on the sweet side of the lumber. He then pounded the ball to right field. It was a 434-foot blast, which appeared to have landed in the first row of third deck. Schwarber scored his 16th home run in June from the leadoff position. It was also his 16th home run in just 18 games. His first home run of June didn't arrive until June 12. Barry Bonds and Sammy Sosa were the only players to have 16 home runs in 18 games. Here are some other amazing tidbits that Schwarber has to offer: He has 12 home runs in his last 10 games, which is equal to Albert Belle's 1995 record of 10. Five of his games were multi-homer, including three in one. This tied a record for the most multi-homer-related games in a calendar-month. It also matches Harmon Killebrew's May 1959, Belle's September 1995 and Edwin Encarnacion's May 2014 records. His seven home runs in the first inning tied Alfonso Soriano (September 2007, June 1969) for the most in a single month. His 16 June home runs are second-most in June, behind only Sosa’s 20 in 1998. This is the all-time record for a single month. 16 home runs per month by players: Sammy Sosa June 1998: 20 Giancarlo Stanton August 2017, 18 Sammy Sosa August 2001: 17 Barry Bonds, May 2001: 17. Willie Mays August 1965: 17 Kyle Schwarber, June 2021 16 Mark McGwire, July 1999: 16 Mark McGwire, May 1998: 16 Ralph Kiner, September 1949: 16 This is a list you'd expect to see sluggers. The six other players combined have 21 home run titles, 33 40-homer seasons and at least one 50-homer year. Schwarber? Schwarber? This is a surprising feat for a player who struggled last year with the Cubs. He hit.188 and was non-tendered. He missed the start 2021 because of COVID-19 injury. And he got off to a terrible start, hitting.189 with three runs in his first 25 games. Schwarber stated that he wanted to be "stupid" after Monday's game against the Mets, in which he scored two runs. That's probably the best way to put it. Just keep going up there and enjoy your at-bat. Do not try to remember what happened before. Just live in the moment. That's what I believe is the most important thing. Just go out and have a very short memory. Perhaps that's how you can hit a 83-mph slowball off Hill to score a home run. Don't think. Swing. Manager Dave Martinez stated Monday, "I have never seen anything similar." Schwarber has been especially effective against fastballs this season, with 10 of his 16 homers coming from fastballs or sinkers (and the other 18 on the season). Schwarber's struggle against fastballs last season was one of the reasons that the Cubs did not offer him a contract. They might have seen a slower player. Compare his 2019 and 2020 numbers to four-seamers or two-seamers/sinkers. 2019 4-seam:.232/.336/.548 2-seam/sinker :.337/.412/.756 2020 4-seam:.206/.375/.476 2-seam/sinker :.243/.282/.595 Schwarber, whether he made adjustments or hit dumb, has crushed four-seamers in 2021 with a 1.066 OPS score and two-seamers with a 1.375 OPS. Schwarber did not seem to care to look into it much when he was asked after Tuesday's game if he had ever experienced a streak such as this, whether in college, high school or Little League. He said, "I don’t think so." "The boys are having fun. I'm having fun." He thanked his fans for their support. Schwarber's winning streak has lifted the Nationals from the NL East gutter. They surpassed.500 for first time since the start of the season 1-0 with their 4-3 victory over the Rays. They are now 13-3 in their 16 previous games and 14-4 since Schwarber began his reign as slug. The comparisons to 2019, where the Nationals started 19-31 but rallied to win a World Series, suddenly seem absurd. Schwarber stated, "We're just going outside there and grinding." "We are locked in. We want it to continue. We will be ready. We'll have to accept the results at the end of the day, but I know that everyone in the clubhouse will be prepared." Next up, Michael Wacha from the Rays. Let's check the records for home runs in 19 and 20 games, and then again in...

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