Schwarber on playing in Cincinnati: ‘It’s always nice to come back and see family and friends’

Middletown graduate has 12 career home runs at GABP

Credit: David Jablonski

Credit: David Jablonski

CINCINNATI — Middletown’s Kyle Schwarber always hits well at Great American Ball Park. Thursday’s series opener was no exception.

Schwarber hit a home run against Cincinnati Reds starter Nick Lodolo in the fifth inning, though that was the last run the Philadelphia Phillies scored in a 6-2 loss.

Schwarber has 12 home runs in 169 plate appearances in Cincinnati. That’s one home run for every 14.1 trips to the plate. He has 203 career home runs in 3,304 plate appearances, or one for every 16.3 plate appearances. He has more home runs at only one other stadium as an opponent: Nationals Park in Washington, where he has 22 home runs in 235 plate appearances.

No matter how you look at it, Schwarber hits a lot of home runs — and even more when he’s playing close to home in Cincinnati. He doesn’t get as many chances at Great American Ball Park now that he’s with the Phillies. In six seasons with the Chicago Cubs, he took multiple trips to Cincinnati every year.

“It’s nice now,” he said. “When I first started, it was awesome and fun being in the same division. You were coming here three times a year. Now it’s only once a year, so it’s always nice to be able to come back and see family and friends.”

Schwarber went 1-for-3 with a walk Thursday. He’s hitting .196 (10 for 51) with four home runs and seven RBIs.

“It’s not the start I wanted,” Schwarber said, “but I’m used to starting slow always. It’s not a shocker. As a team, do we want to play better? Sure. But luckily it’s 12 games. We’ll keep figuring it out.”

Schwarber, 30, is now in his ninth season in the big leagues and his second season with the Philadelphia Phillies. He played in the World Baseball Classic for the first time in March and hit a home run in the final game as Team USA lost 3-2 to Japan.

“I’m hoping to make many more career memories,” he said, “but I think that will definitely be up there near the top.”

Schwarber felt the experienced helped him get ready for the season.

“You got these high-leverage at-bats,” he said. “That was helpful for me.”

About the Author