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Kyle Schwarber keeps up historic HR onslaught, prefers to 'rest up' during HR derby

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The Shohei-Schwarber showdown appears to be a no-go.

Washington Nationals slugger Kyle Schwarber kept up his ridiculous home run tear on Tuesday, knocking in his 25th of the season in a 4-3 win over the Tampa Bay Rays with a first-pitch, leadoff bomb to right field off of Rich Hill.

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It was his 12th home run in 10 games tying him with Albert Belle ('95) for the most ever in that time frame, per MLB. Likewise his 16th in 18 games is an all-time best mark alongside Barry Bonds ('01) and Sammy Sosa ('98).

It's a pace that has some MLB fans hoping for a Coors Field home-run derby appearance across Los Angeles Angels phenom Shohei Ohtani. Those fans will likely be disappointed. 

No derby for Schwarber?

Schwarber said after Tuesday's game that he hasn't been invited. But if and when he is, he said he'll likely sit it out, calling the derby "taxing on the body."

"It’s four minutes of just straight hacking as hard as you can," Schwarber told reporters after Tuesday's win. ... "I just think that the best thing to do is probably let it pass and rest up and look forward to the second half.'

Other sluggers sitting Coors Field derby out

If he does indeed turn the derby down, he won't be the first to deliver the disappointing news. San Diego Padres slugger Fernando Tatis Jr., who's tied with Schwarber atop the National League with 25 home runs, has already opted out, citing his shoulder. Toronto Blue Jays bomber Vladimir Guerrero Jr. is also sitting the derby out, telling reporters he'd rather use the All-Star break to regroup for the second half of the season. He trails only Ohtani for the MLB home run lead with 26. 

Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Rich Hill (14) reacts after giving up a home run to Washington Nationals left fielder Kyle Schwarber (12) during the first inning at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports
The home-run trot has become quite familiar for Kyle Schwarber. (Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports)

Ohtani, who'd tallied 28 home runs as of Tuesday night, will take part in the derby. He'll reportedly be joined by Trevor Story, Trey Mancini and Pete Alonso. But with Schwarber's announcement, his top competition for the 2021 home run crown won't be joining him at Coors Field on July 12.

For Schwarber, it's also kind of a been there, done that kind of thing. He finished runner-up to Bryce Harper in the 2018 home run derby. 

“It was definitely a moment that you’re not gonna forget and you kinda check that off your bucket list,” Schwarber said. ... "I think it’s such a great experience and the people that are gonna be in it — and especially in it for the first time — they’re gonna love it, and it’s gonna be something that they’re never gonna forget."

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