SAN DIEGO – This would have been quite the moment to wrap up a very bizarre two days for the first baseman and designated hitter.
In the ninth inning with two outs and his team down by a run, Frank Schwindel stepped to the plate at Petco Park with the bases loaded on Tuesday night. It took a lot for him to get here at this moment, as he was demoted to Triple-A Sunday, was recalled Monday, flew to San Diego to start that night and the next.
The chance to be a hero and perhaps generate some momentum after a slow start to 2022 was in front of him, and for about three seconds it looked like he’d done just that. Inserted as a pinch hitter, he got a great swing on a Taylor Rogers pitch and sent it deep to left field.
It looked like a sure homer off the bat and continued to approach the seats high in the air, but it just didn’t have quite the distance. Inches from the wall, Jurickson Profar was able to make the catch on the hopeful fly by Schwindel to end the game and give the Padres a 5-4 victory.
So much for the dream ending for the first baseman and designated hitter, who endured quite a 48 hours before the nearly incredible moment in the ninth. Batting just over .200 on the season, Schwindel was sent down to Triple-A Iowa on Sunday but was still in Chicago early on Monday when the Cubs had to call him back up with some roster shuffling due to injuries.
Things didn’t improve on Monday when he struck out all three times he stepped to the plate in a 6-0 Cubs win, which had him on the bench on Tuesday. When his moment came up on Tuesday, he came so close to delivering, but couldn’t quite do it.
That moment complete a back-and-forth game in which the Cubs rallied a few times to catch their opponents. After the Padres got two first inning runs off Wade Miley, who was starting his first game with the Cubs, Alfonso Rivas tied it with a two-run homer in the third inning. San Diego scored in the bottom half of that inning to get the lead but the Cubs evened it once again in the fifth when an error allowed Rafael Ortega to score.
In the sixth inning, the Padres struck for two on a double by Manny Machado and an infield hit by Eric Hosmer to get the advantage. Ian Happ’s single in the ninth inning got the Cubs within one and Schwindel almost got it all back, but that moment wasn’t meant to be.