After a somewhat disappointing major league debut on Friday, Chicago Cubs super-prospect Kris Bryant had an impressive outing on Saturday against the San Diego Padres at Wrigley Field.
Bryant displayed more patience and restraint at the plate on Saturday compared to his eagerness to swing at the ball on Friday. After striking out three times and going 0-4 from the plate Friday, Bryant reached base five times in Saturday’s game. Bryant’s official line was 2-3 on Saturday, including two singles and three walks. Kris also notched his first major league RBI on a broken-bat single in the fifth inning, which also happened to be his first base hit in the major leagues. The run scored off the Bryant single helped the Cubs tie the game 2-2, and the Cubs went on to win the game in 11 innings.
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Chicago manager Joe Maddon was pleased with Bryant’s performance in his second major league game.
“You’re always looking for good at-bats and being a good decision-maker. He (Bryant) was that today,” Maddon told reporters.
During his debut game on Friday, Bryant displayed a little bit too much eagerness at the plate, routinely swinging at pitches that were low and outside the zone. During Saturday’s game against the Padres, Bryant made the pitchers come to him with pitches in the zone. It paid off, with Bryant drawing the aforementioned three walks.
On the defensive side of the ball, Bryant was solid during his debut on Friday, but he did record his first error in Saturday’s game. A first inning swing by San Diego’s Wil Myers sent the baseball off of Bryant’s glove at third base.
Kris Bryant, who lead the minor leagues last year in home runs, is still looking for his major league long ball, and Bryant will get another chance at that on Sunday when the Cubs take on the Padres at 1:20 CT. The series finale at Wrigley Field will feature the Cubs’ big offseason free agent acquisition, Jon Lester, taking on the Padres’ Andrew Cashner.
Lester, who is making his third start for the Cubs, is still looking for his first win (0-1). Lester has displayed some control issues in his two previous starts for the Cubs, noteably an inability to throw the ball accurately to first base in pick-off attempts. His 7.84 ERA is also far higher than what the Cubs expected when they signed the star pitcher to a $155 million contract in the offseason.
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