Cubs slugger Wisdom is NL player of week; Cubs fall 9-4 to Padres
There are some interesting facts in Patrick Wisdom's history.
He went to high school with golfer Rickie Fowler in Murrieta, California, and the two remain friends.
In lieu of feeding each other cake at their wedding, Wisdom and his wife, Carolina, took bites of a giant doughnut.
Apparently, Wisdom is a fan of doughnuts. He has posed his young daughters next to doughnuts on his Instagram account to commemorate birth date milestones.
Is any of that more interesting than what happened this week? Wisdom was named National League player of the week Monday, after hitting .435 with 6 home runs and a 1.719 OPS.
And late Monday night, Wisdom got a chance to play in front of friends and family as the Cubs opened a three-game series in San Diego. Murrieta is roughly in the center of San Diego, Los Angeles and Palm Springs, but he grew up a Padres fan.
"Yeah, it's going to be special," Wisdom said Sunday after hitting a pair of home runs in San Francisco. "I grew up going to Padres games as a little kid, different stadium, but Padres nonetheless. Just to have the fans, my friends and my family there to support, it will mean a lot."
The Cubs lost to the Padres 9-4 after falling behind 4-0 early, dropping their record on this West Coast trip to 1-4. Starter Adbert Alzolay left after walking the first batter of the fourth inning. The Cubs later said he had a blister on the middle finger. Ian Happ homered in the seventh to make it 6-4, but San Diego poured it on late.
As Wisdom, 29, goes on this tear, an obvious question is why was he playing in the minor leagues for the Cubs a little more than two weeks ago? After all, he did hit 31 home runs for two different Triple A teams in the past.
Wisdom was drafted by St. Louis and rose through the Cardinals' organization around the same time as Antioch native Paul DeJong, outfielder Harrison Bader, pitcher Jack Flaherty and other familiar names. After hitting 31 homers at Memphis in 2017 and logging 32 games with the Cardinals in 2018, it looked like he'd make a home in St. Louis.
Instead, he was traded to Texas for outfielder Drew Robinson. The Cardinals have made some mistakes in recent years. Texas' Adolis Garcia, fifth in MLB with 16 home runs, and Tampa Bay playoff hero Randy Arozarena both started with St. Louis.
Wisdom started the 2019 season with the Rangers, hit .154 over the first nine games and was handed a plane ticket to Triple A Nashville, where he again hit 31 home runs and was voted Fan Favorite.
"Performance-based for sure when I was up there, just couldn't get it going," Wisdom said. "It was kind of a blessing in disguise to get sent down. Then I kind of went on a roll in Triple-A, had fun. We had a great team that year, great group of guys. So it was kind of a blessing in disguise. Hey, let's flush everything that's happened in the past, keep moving forward and play your game."
In 2020, he signed with Seattle, which was sort of a hometown team, since that's where Carolina is from. The couple met while attending St. Mary's College in Northern California. But the Mariners released Wisdom in August without playing in a game, and that's when he signed with the Cubs.
Manager David Ross talked about how the Cubs like experienced guys who have gotten a taste of the big leagues and are fighting to get back. Outfielders Rafael Ortega and Nick Martini are in the same boat. In fact, those three were once teammates on the Cardinals' Double A team in Springfield, Missouri.
"The more at-bats you get, the more pitches you see, the better you get," Wisdom said. "I'm thankful for my time in the minor leagues and I'm happy for my time in baseball, for sure.
"It's not only me. I think it's the team I have to give credit to because they allow you to come in and be yourself and they make you one of the guys right away, so it's been real cool."
On the injury front, the Cubs activated Jake Marisnick (hamstring) from the injured list and sent pitcher Kohl Stewart to Iowa, though it seems likely he will stay in the Cubs' rotation. Javy Baez (thumb) and Joc Pederson (back) were not in Monday's starting lineup but are expected back soon.
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