Baseball’s most popular player regained sole leadership of the NL home run lead with a 1st-inning shot off of Pirates starter Ryan Vogelsong. The timing of Kris Bryant’s 36th home run was perfect, coming as it did at the very moment I roused from an unexpected evening nap. Seriously, I closed my eyes just before the first pitch and woke briefly to see Bryant, then zoned back out as strains of Anthony Rizzo’s walk-up music pulsed like a lively metronome.
As of press time, Nolan Arenado had not gone deep for the Rockies, though there’s a sense that it’s only a matter of time* before he catches back up. The two young third basemen have been trading the lead back and forth like a couple of distance runners just drafting off of one another until that final kick.
Coming into Wednesday’s action, Arenado was hitting .351/.424/.680 with 9 homers, 33 RBI, a .444 wOBA and 162 wRC+ in August. That’s really good. Bryant, on the other hand, was at .379/.467/.728 with 9 homers and 21 RBI to drive a 213 wRC+ and .492 wOBA. That’s even better.
There have been and will be arguments about who’s better (it’s Bryant), but the important thing is that these two will be able to engage in these battles for years to come.
*Only an hour or so after I hit “Publish,” Arenado hit his 36th homer to tie Bryant. This is fun.