John Smoltz had some ill-time praise for a younger Chicago Cubs pitcher.
The Chicago Cubs haven’t enjoyed their trip to face the New York Yankees this weekend. Saturday was a one-sided slugfest featuring six home runs by the Yankees including two from AL MVP front-runner Aaron Judge.
As impressive as his two-dinger night was, it was a bottom of the fourth shot off the bat of Giancarlo Stanton that had everyone grabbing the closest shield they could find. We may have a John Smoltz jinx to thank for it, too.
Cubs starter Matt Swarmer went into the bottom of the fourth trailing only 1-0 before the home run fest began. Right as Smoltz was praising him on the broadcast, Stanton went deep and made a little bit of history when he did.
John Smoltz jinxed Cubs starting pitcher Matt Swarmer
Just as soon as Smoltz finished talking about how impressed he was with Swarmer, Stanton put every muscle in his body into the swing that set a new Statcast record. The laser was a no-doubt-about-it. Even John Sterling wouldn’t have missed this call.
The rocket off of Stanton’s bat was clocked at going 119.8 mph. If we’re using Back to the Future logic, he was a flux capacitor away from sending the baseball thirty years into the past. The extra speed would have surely made up for any loss in gigawattage.
Maybe Doc Brown didn’t need to do shady business. All he needed was Stanton and some ill-timed praise from Smoltz to make time travel history.
As if that home run wasn’t bad enough, the very next batter, Gleyber Torres also went yard. An inning later, Swarmer allowed three more.
The Cubs are no strangers to jinxes and curses. For over 100 years, they blamed their lack of a championship on a Billy goat not being allowed into a bar. On this Saturday night, they may be able to point the finger at Smoltz.
If anyone can benefit from this, it might be Nick Castellanos. Any apology from Smoltz to the Cubs fans will surely be broken up by a long drive from Castellanos. However, Smoltz doesn’t have a need to apologize. For the benefit of pitchers, he needs to have a little more caution before awarding them praise.