Schwindel, Cubs suddenly can't stop winning

                                                                                                                                                                                                   
  • The Chicago Cubs' Frank Schwindel celebrates after hitting a go-ahead grand slam during the seventh inning Sunday against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Wrigley Field.

    The Chicago Cubs' Frank Schwindel celebrates after hitting a go-ahead grand slam during the seventh inning Sunday against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Wrigley Field. Associated Press

 
 
Updated 9/6/2021 8:21 AM

This was not the script most people expected to see from the Cubs.

The flurry of trades, ugly losses and drive toward a top-five draft pick have been replaced by late-game heroics and the longest win streak in the majors.

 

"Probably the most fun I've ever had playing baseball these last couple days," Frank Schwindel said. "I've got a bunch of friends in the stands that are enjoying it just a much as I am. The guys in the clubhouse, we're all having a good time. Nothing's better than this."

Schwindel hit a go-ahead grand slam in the seventh inning and the Cubs beat Pittsburgh 11-8 on Sunday for their sixth win in a row. All six of those victories came against the Twins and Pirates, but they're also 11-6 since Aug. 17 with 2 wins over the Reds and one against the White Sox.

"I think it just shows a lot of character," Schwindel said. "They went through a rough stretch even with those (now ex-Cubs) before the all-star break. Bad streaks, they'll happen. I think it really shows a lot about the guys deep down.

"We want to compete, we want to be good. We're not just going to coast the rest of the year. It's a lot of fun when everybody's on the same page and putting the work in and seeing some results."

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During the last three days, Schwindel has gone 9 for 13 at the plate, with 3 home runs. Over the past 30 days, Schwindel has posted the second-best OPS in the major leagues at 1.149. Remember, he joined the Cubs after being claimed off waivers from Oakland in July.

"Frank's just got this thing on repeat right now," said Cubs acting manager Andy Green. "We'll ride it as long as we can and not ask questions, just let him keep doing his thing."

The crazy thing is, Schwindel might not have been the Cubs' player of the game. That honor could go to Matt Duffy, who hit 2 home runs, including a grand slam in the third inning.

Duffy had hit 1 home run previously this season and that was back on May 15 in Detroit. It was the first multi-home run game in Duffy's major-league career.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

"I was just going around all day saying, 'Somebody pinch me, somebody pinch me,'" Duffy said with a laugh. "Getting a base hit in the big leagues feels good, but hitting a homer ... Think I said it to (Pittsburgh's Colin) Moran after my first one, if I'm hitting a homer today, there's going to be a lot of runs scored."

This game tied a major-league record with 3 grand slams, with the Pirates' Bryan Reynolds hitting one in the third inning. For the Cubs, Jason Heyward hit his first homer since July 16.

The crowds are a little smaller at Wrigley Field, but fans are cheering for Schwindel, Duffy and Rafael Ortega as loudly as they did Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo and Javy Baez.

Schwindel said he was recognized on the street and posed for pictures for the first time in his life on Saturday.

"It was cool, because obviously I'm not used to that," he said. "A bunch of my high school buddies from New Jersey made the trip out. They're having probably more fun than me, because they're high-fiving all the fans, they have the Fathead cutouts of me, I saw them on the Jumbotron today.

"They've given me plenty of support my whole career, the good times and the bad times. I think we're all enjoying it right now."

No one was expecting a party to break out in Wrigleyville, so yeah, might as well enjoy it.

• Twitter: @McGrawDHSports

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