CINCINNATI — The nickname rolls off the tongue — ‘‘Schwisdom’’ — and when Cubs fans needed it the most last year, Frank Schwindel and Patrick Wisdom gave the Cubs a power-hitting duo to soften the blow of losing Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo — ‘‘Bryzzo’’ — at the trade deadline.
Now, the pair’s bats have heated up again, and they’re providing the kind of consistent power the offense was missing early in the season.
In the Cubs’ 11-4 victory against the Reds on Tuesday at Great American Ball Park, Schwindel logged the first multi-homer game of his career. The game before was Wisdom’s fourth-straight with a home run. The two have combined for eight home runs in the last five games, going back-to-back two games in a row.
“Some of those guys that put it on the ground aren’t in the lineup right now,” Cubs manager David Ross said, alluding to injured contact hitters like Nick Madrigal and Nico Hoerner. “But you’ve got to have a balance. And the guys that do put it on the ground, we try to make some things happen.”
The Cubs’ offense was balanced and productive from the start. The Cubs scored three runs in the first inning, on a sacrifice fly from Seiya Suzuki and a two-run homer from Schwindel.
First baseman Alfonso Rivas drove in two more runs on a third-inning triple, erasing the ground the Reds had made up against Cubs starter Marcus Stroman in the first.
Schwindel led off the Cubs’ highest-scoring frame with his second home run of the night, again an opposite-field blast.
“Much better,” Schwindel said of driving the ball to right field. “I’ll take that. Being able to do that means I’m able to do a lot of things right.”
The Cubs manufactured the other four runs in the fifth inning through a combination of singles, a bunt, a walk, and some groundouts. Balance.
Stroman, after allowing two runs in the first, held the Reds scoreless for the next four innings before turning the game over to the bullpen. He struck out eight.
“This team is full of potential,” Stroman said when asked about Schwindel and Wisdom’s hot streaks. “But those guys have got some real pop, and anytime you get them going in the right direction, I think they can stay hot, and I think the other guys are going to feed off of that going into these next few games.”
For Schwindel, this hot streak is part of a wild month.
A little over two weeks ago, the Cubs optioned Schwindel to Triple-A, hoping time in Iowa would help him work through a slump. Except he never made it to Iowa, thanks in part to the nail in his tire that delayed the trip. The next day, the Cubs recalled him in the midst of a roster crunch brought on by a mix of injuries and COVID-related roster moves.
Since then, Schwindel is hitting .272 with four home runs, including his 3-for-5 (two homers, one single) Tuesday.
“Great feeling,” Schwindel said. “Especially after putting a lot of hard work in lately and having a pretty good last week or so. Looking to build off that, keep putting in the work in the [batting] cage, and hopefully having a lot more results like that.”
Schwindel and Wisdom reached cult-hero status among Cubs fans late last year. This season, the expectations on them will be higher. But in recent weeks they’ve rekindled ‘‘Schwisdom’’ mania.