Welcome to the playoffs, Kyle Schwarber.
Schwarber, a former Indiana catcher, led the Chicago Cubs to their first postseason win since 2003 with a clutch offensive performance in the National League Wild Card game on Wednesday night.
Schwarber went 2-for-3 with a monster home run and 3 RBIs in the Cubs' 3-0 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park. Schwarber two-run homer landed in the Allegheny River beyond the right-field bleachers in the third inning.
Schwarber also had an RBI single in the first inning after Dexter Fowler led off the game with a single. Both hits came off of Pirates ace Gerrit Cole, who was visibly rattled after Schwarber's home run.
"We executed the game plan to a tee today," Schwarber said. "The nerves really hit last night when I was watching the American League Wild Card game because I realized that was going to be us, and in less than 24 hours. Then coming out to the ballpark, there are butterflies. And listening to the national anthem and listening to the crowd roar, there is going to be butterflies.
"But once the first pitch happens, it's game time. It's time to go. Everything starts to slow down from then. You feel so sped up when you're spectating, and then once you step on the field, you slow it down."
Schwarber struggled down the stretch of the regular season after a hot start, but he picked a good time to find his stride in a do or die situation. Schwarber hit .246 with 16 home runs and 43 RBIs in 69 games during the regular season.
"I know the struggles are going to happen. It's baseball," Schwarber said after the game. "It's a crazy game that goes up and down. You've just got to find a way to be even keeled throughout it all."
Schwarber and the Cubs open a best of five NL Division Series with the rival St. Louis Cardinals on Friday evening.