Patrick Wisdom was not a heralded Chicago Cubs prospect and was not part of the 2021 Opening Day roster. Since his Cubs debut on May 25th, he has slugged his way to a starting role and mounted a Rookie of the Year campaign in just 101 games. On September 14th, he tied 2015 Rookie of the Year Kris Bryant‘s Chicago Cubs rookie home run record with his 26th bomb of the year against the Philadelphia Phillies. With two weeks to go in the regular season, the question of whether Wisdom would become the recordholder was purely academic.
The milestone home run would come in another road game against the division rival Milwaukee Brewers on Sunday. The Cubs fell behind the Brewers after a two-run rally by the home squad in the 5th inning. The visitors would trail until the 8th inning, when the Northside offense erupted for five runs against Milwaukee’s pitching staff ranked third in MLB. Matt Duffy‘s RBI single tied the game at two runs. Frank Schwindel followed up with a double to bring Duffy home as the go-ahead run. Wisdom’s 27th home run of the year, a three-run blast to center field, would serve as the big blow of the inning and of the game. It would also prove to be the decisive hit after Milwaukee scored twice in the final frame (box) on a single by Christian Yelich.
Wisdom’s record rookie campaign as a 30 year-old is the feel-good story of the 2021 season for the Cubs, who are moving into a new era following the departure of Anthony Rizzo, Javier Báez and Bryant at the trade deadline.
The Northsiders will now return home for two games against the Minnesota Twins to open the final homestand of the 2021 season. Game 1 is set for Tuesday night at 7:40 PM ET at Wrigley Field. Griffin Jax (3-4, 6.65 ERA) is scheduled to face Alec Mills (6-6, 4.50 ERA).
Featured Image: Red marquee of Wrigley Field, home of the Chicago Cubs, shown here on May 29, 2016, displaying the message “CUBS WIN!” as fans celebrate their 7-2 win against the Philadelphia Phillies by Susan Montgomery / Shutterstock.com.