Schwarber making baseball history with a power surge in June

Middletown graduate joins Bonds, Sosa in exclusive group

Middletown’s Kyle Schwarber is on a historic roll in his first season with the Washington Nationals.

Schwarber hit two home runs Monday in an 8-4 victory against the New York Mets in Washington, D.C. That gave him 15 home runs in a 17-game stretch. Only Barry Bonds (2001) and Sammy Sosa (1998) have accomplished that feat.

“It’s definitely a good feeling,” Schwarber told reporters. “I wouldn’t say I haven’t felt this locked in (before), but the home runs, that’s definitely been a surprise. I just want to keep doing the consistent work day in and day out.”

Schwarber also has 11 home runs in his last nine games. The only other player in baseball history to do that was Frank Howard (1968 with the Washington Senators).

“Honestly, I’ve never seen anything like it before,” Nationals manager Dave Martinez said. “Hopefully, he keeps doing it. He’s been awesome.”

Schwarber hit two home runs in April, seven in May and has 15 in June. Schwarber now owns the Nationals record for most home runs in month. Bryce Harper hit 13 in May in 2015.

The power surge has vaulted Schwarber into second place in the National League with 24 home runs. Fernando Tatis Jr., of the San Diego Padres, has 25. Schwarber has the most home runs in baseball, 22, since May 9.

“I think the biggest thing is just not missing the pitch, not fouling it off or taking it. Whenever I am swinging at the pitch I want to swing at, it’s catching some barrel and finding its way into the grass or somewhere else.”

This is Schwarber’s first season with the Nationals after six seasons with the Chicago Cubs. He signed a one-year, $10 million deal in January. He’s more than halfway to his career-high home run total of 38, which he hit in 2019. He’s hitting .253 with 52 RBIs.

The Nationals (38-38) are three games back of the Mets in the National League East Division. They are 17-9 in June.

“This team is phenomenal,” Schwarber said. “The character and the mindset and the day in and day out, work and attitudes that we all have, it’s been really fun. We always say winning’s fun, but it’s definitely been a good time. I don’t think we ever doubted ourselves. That was kind of the biggest thing. If we keep rolling, keep going out there and keep grinding and keep putting in the consistent work, good things are going to happen, and good things are happening right now.”

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