Kyle Schwarber has continued hot hitting in the American League, appears headed back to playoffs

Former IU slugger Kyle Schwarber was torturing National League pitchers in June before a hamstring injury put him on the bench.

When he resurfaced in August, Schwarber was with a new team and in a new league, but he brought his same hot bat with him.

Traded from the Washington Nationals to the Boston Red Sox in July, Schwarber appears to be destined for a return trip to the MLB Playoffs, and his efforts at the plate are a meaningful part of a late Boston surge towards the postseason.

Through 32 games with Boston, Schwarber is batting .297 with six home runs and 17 runs batted in over 137 plate appearances.  The mere threat of Schwarber might be the biggest story.  Fueled by 25 walks drawn, he is sporting a lofty .431 on-base percentage during his time with the Red Sox.

Schwarber’s latest act of heroics was a two home run game against the Mets on Wednesday, marking the fourth time this season he has had a multi-homer game against the National League squad.

On the season Schwarber is up to 31 home runs, his third campaign with at least 30 in a season.  He now has 152 home runs for his seven-year MLB career, placing him second all-time among former IU players.  Former Hoosier slugger Ted Kluszewski swatted 279 during his time in the big leagues.

His performance in Boston is on the heels of a historic month of June by Schwarber with the Nationals.

Schwarber crushed 16 home runs during the month of June, leading the Majors and earning June National League player of the month honors. Twelve of those homers came in a 10-game span from June 19-29, tying Albert Belle in 1995 for the most home runs in any 10-game span in MLB history. All 16 of his home runs in June came in an 18-game span, tying the record set by Sammy Sosa in 1998 and matched by Barry Bonds in 2001.

Selected in the first round of the 2014 MLB Draft (fourth overall) by the Cubs, Schwarber is the highest draft pick in Indiana baseball history.  In IU history, he ranks fifth in slugging percentage (.607), sixth in home runs (40), eighth in hits (238) and is tied for eighth in triples (12) and runs (182).

If the Red Sox clinch a playoff spot it will the sixth time in seven seasons Schwarber will have made a postseason appearance.  He became an icon with the Cubs in 2016 after he returned from a season-long injury to compile seven hits and draw three walks in 20 plate appearances in the World Series.

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