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Cubs' Kyle Schwarber says Home Run Derby 'wasn't rigged'

Chicago Tribune logo Chicago Tribune 7/20/2018 By Teddy Greenstein, Chicago Tribune
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Video by FOX Sports

CHICAGO - Kyle Schwarber woke up Tuesday feeling like he had been in a car wreck.

What was sore?

"Arms, sides, back ... about everything," the Cubs left fielder said.

But Schwarber recovered in time from his spectacular performance in the Home Run Derby - 55 homers over three rounds - to play Thursday against the Cardinals.

"I'm still somewhat sore," he said. "It's a lot of swings in a short amount of time. Now it's back to baseball, just worrying about winning games and driving people in."

Schwarber hit 16 homers in the first round, 21 in the semifinal and 18 in the final duel with Bryce Harper, who was slugging before his home crowd in Washington.

"Definitely a once-in-a-lifetime thing - especially to make the finals against the hometown guy," Schwarber said. "You get the crowd behind you in the second round, and then for the third round, they're booing you."

So, really, once in a lifetime?

"I could see myself doing it again, but it might be a while," he said, adding that he would absolutely participate if the Derby were held at Wrigley Field.

Although some Cubs fans complained that Harper skirted the rules by getting pitches while his previous blasts were still in the air, Schwarber said: "It wasn't rigged. The guy did an unbelievable job."

Manager Joe Maddon rested All-Stars Javier Baez and Willson Contreras on Thursday but included Schwarber in the lineup.

Can Maddon imagine how sore Schwarber was after hitting that many homers?

"I don't know how much wood-chopping he does in the offseason," Maddon joked. "He didn't text me or anything and say he's too sore to play. He sees all these right-handers coming up ... we were just on the West Coast, all the lefties, he's sitting on the bench, he hates me. Now all of a sudden he gets all the righties (starting), so there's no way he's not playing."

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Related slideshow: 2018 MLB season (Provided by photo services) 

ST. LOUIS, MO - AUGUST 14:  John Gant #53 of the St. Louis Cardinals celebrates after hitting a two-run home run against the Washington Nationals second inning at Busch Stadium on August 14, 2018 in St. Louis, Missouri.  (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images) 2018 MLB season

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