Pitching Machines at the World Series

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The MLB season ended in dramatic fashion capping off one of the greatest World Series of all time, with one of the best baseball games you will ever see. The Chicago Cubs defeated the Cleveland Indians in extra innings to claim their first World Series title since 1908. 

It was a terrific end to the baseball season and will only add to the excitement for next baseball season. The quality of the games was only topped by some of the storylines and performances on display. In context, no performance was as impressive as the Chicago Cubs Kyle Schwarber who was out the entire MLB season with a knee injury. Schwarber was asked to return and play in undoubtedly the biggest game of his life after not hitting off of a major league pitcher all year. 

Schwarber’s contribution to the Cubs World Series victory will be remembered forever after going 7-17 and only 4 strikeouts, an amazing accomplishment under the circumstances. 

So how did he do it? If you listened to the game you might have heard the announcers mention Schwarber working with JUGS pitching machines to prepare for his World Series cameo. Schwarber was quoted as saying that he hit “probably about 1,300 pitches” off of pitching machines to get his swing ready. Pitching Machines, such as JUGS, are able to replicate (as closely as possible) the speed and curve that Schwarber was going to face in the World Series against pitchers like Corey Kluber. Taking hundreds of reps off of a pitching machine is the only way to replicate and adjust to speeds between 95-100 mph as well as recognizing the different types of pitches including breaking balls.

This is a prime example of the advantage of pitching machines displayed at the biggest of stages. However, the same concept could be applied to any level of play. Kyle Schwarber’s work ethic should be commeneded and he has truly shown what it takes in practice to compete at the highest level. 

Throughout the series Cubs players also enjoyed Kyle Schwarber’s return as much as the fans and appeared to be just as amazed by his performances, saying that he was just adding to “the legend of Kyle Schwarber”. This Chicago Cubs baseball team will certainly go down in the history books where the contribution of a JUGS machine in Schwarber’s return may only be a cliffnote, but we say Go JUGS Go! 

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  • Ashley Hewitt
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