Middletown’s Schwarber back in MLB playoffs for 7th time in eight seasons

The Phillies make the playoffs for the first time in 11 years.

Some Major League Baseball players spend their entire careers without making the playoffs.

For Middletown’s Kyle Schwarber it’s old hat.

When the Philadelphia Phillies beat the Houston Astros 3-0 Monday night, the Phillies clinched a spot in the postseason for the first time in 11 seasons. The Phillies, the No. 6 seed, open the Wild Card Series on Friday against the third-seeded St. Louis Cardinals.

Schwarber, now in his eighth season, has made the playoffs seven times with three teams. He made the playoffs in 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2020 with the Chicago Cubs, the team that selected him fourth overall in the 2014 MLB draft out of Indiana University.

He helped the Cubs win their third World Series, and since first 1908, in 2016.

Schwarber, 29, then made the playoffs last season with the Boston Red Sox, the team that acquired him from the Washington Nationals at the trade deadline.

Schwarber signed a four-year, $79 million deal with the Phillies this season. The team started 22-29, then fired manager Joe Girardi.

The Phillies also lost two-time all-star Bryce Harper for two months, but Schwarber carried the offensive load. He has hit a National League-best 46 homers, including two in the playoff-clinching win, and driven in 94 runs. He’s hitting .219.

It was Schwarber’s eighth multiple home run game this season and he has 199 career homers.

“It hasn’t been an easy season,’’ Schwarber told reporters after Monday’s game. “We went through a manager change, went through the MVP being down ... and we went through people saying that our season’s over, that don’t even count the Phillies and they can’t catch the baseball ... and for us to get all of our guys back and healthy and for them to all be there and contribute, that’s what it’s about.”

Philadelphia’s postseason drought was the longest active one in the majors after the Seattle Mariners clinched their first playoff berth in 21 years Friday night.

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