When Kris Bryant came up in the bottom of the 6th, he’d already hit a single, double and home run. In other words, he was just a triple short of the cycle, a wonderful phrase that manages to be hopeful and damning at the same time. Hey, Sisyphus, you can do it. C’mon, you’re only a summit away from pushing that boulder over the mountain![beautifulquote align=”right”]Picking up a three-base hit should be no more a task than flossing.[/beautifulquote]
For a player of Bryant’s transcendent talent, picking up a three-base hit should be no more a task than flossing is for me. By which I mean it’s easy but I really only do it when I have to. KB was flossing Thursday afternoon, alright, to the detriment of his completion of an arbitrary accomplishment that sounds way cooler than it really is. Ah, but like that tortured titan of the mountaintop, the Cubs resident demigod would have more than one opportunity to complete his task.
His first failure came in that 6th-inning at-bat against Blaine Boyer and that glorious ginger beard of his. After working the count to an infinitely hitter-friendly 3-1, Bryant got a fastball that he should have been able to handle. Rather than hammering it into a gap or running it past an outfielder, however, he launched a ball 413 feet out to dead center.
SMH, as the kids text.[beautifulquote align=”right”]Ah, but the munificent baseball gods smiled upon their favorite son and granted him another shot at the vaunted cycle.[/beautifulquote]
Ah, but the munificent baseball gods smiled upon their favorite son and granted him another shot at the vaunted cycle in the 8th inning. This time it was Corey Knebel opposing Bryant in his quest for glory. After taking two pitches, Bryant fouled off two more to bring the count even. Knebel then served up a center-cut fastball that Bryant ripped for…a single?! Yeah, it drove in a run, but still. Ugh.
Maybe that guy who told me Bryant has sucked because he isn’t clutch was right. I mean, here’s this young player putting up MVP numbers and he can’t even manage to complete a cycle with a measly triple. Can’t get it done when the pressure’s on. Is it too late to go back and get the Astros to draft Bryant instead of Mark Appel?
In all seriousness, Bryant is showing himself to be every bit the mythical figure we had all built him up to be as he destroyed college and minor league competition. All he did last year was lap the field en route to a unanimous Rookie of the Year award. All he’s done this season is get even better. If this is a sophomore slump, not even my dreamscape holds capacity for what the future holds.[beautifulquote align=”right”]If this is a sophomore slump, not even my dreamscape holds capacity for what the future holds.[/beautifulquote]
Though he was unable to collect one of each kind of base hit, I’m pretty sure Bryant and the Cubs are perfectly happy with a 5-for-5 performance during which he racked up 12 total bases and 5 RBI. That latter exploit raised his season total to 78, nosing Bryant ahead of Addison Russell (74) for second on the team (Rizzo, 86). The two home runs pulled him even with fellow third baseman Nolan Arenado for tops in the NL.
And where are the Cubs headed next? That’s right, they’ll be in to Denver to face Arenado and the Rockies over the weekend. I’d say I feel good about Bryant’s chances to successfully log a cycle there, but I’m afraid he’ll probably just end up launching missiles into the Rocky Mountain air. Guess I’ll just have to find a way to come to terms with his shortcomings.