Cubs outfielder Kyle Schwarber thought his 16 home runs would be enough to take down Astros third baseman Alex Bregman in the first round of the 2018 Home Run Derby. He was right, but Schwarber just barely escaped Bregman.
Because Schwarber hit two home runs that went 440 feet or longer, he unlocked 30 seconds of bonus time, which proved quite necessary. Schwarber added a couple of home runs to his total before giving way to Bregman.
Bregman, who had 20 home runs in the first half, hit a lot of line drives, peppering the stands in left field with home runs. He seemed to have enough time to at least tie Schwarber as the clock ran out. With his final swing, Bregman hit a fly ball to left-center that fell about three feet shy of tying Schwarber at 16. Bregman did not hit any home runs 440 feet or longer. Alas, Bregman was eliminated.
The Schwarber-Bregman round was thrilling and tense. While the four-minute clock isn’t everybody’s cup of tea, it is undeniably what made this round so fun. If you’re not watching the Home Run Derby, you’re really missing out on some enjoyable baseball-adjacent stuff.