It was a nightmare of a road trip for the Chicago Cubs who returned to Wrigley Field after going 4-7. Luckily, they were set to take on the Cincinnati Reds in a three-game series starting Monday afternoon. And they brought fireworks of their own.
On the day our country celebrated its Independence, last year’s National League Rookie of the Year winner, Kris Bryant lifted off in the home half of the second inning with his 24th home run of the year. This extended Chicago Cubs’ lead to 5-0 early as they went on to hammer the Reds, 10-4.
Yesterday wasn’t the first time Bryant homered on the 4th of July — in fact, he hit two big flies on this day last season with the Miami Marlins in town. Kris jumped all over a pitch in the first inning of last year’s contest, nearly sending it out onto Waveland avenue.
He later followed that up with a grand slam in his very next at-bat which busted things wide open for the Cubs.
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This time around, he wasn’t the only one making noise with a bat. Addison Russell and Willson Contreras each added a home run of their own. This offense had trouble plating runs in New York but have made Cincinnati’s life miserable this season.
Despite dropping their previous four-game set to the Mets, Chicago has themselves a solid nine-game lead in the National League Central ahead of the St. Louis Cardinals and 10.5 of the Pittsburgh Pirates.
As soon as the Cubs are done with the Reds and the one make-up game against the Atlanta Braves, they will find themselves on the road in Pittsburgh. Hopefully, history, which wasn’t that long ago, will repeat itself before the All-Star break.
The first-place Cubs have only six games left before their entire infield and a few pitcher’s head over to Petco Park in San Diego for the 87th annual All-Star game. It’s been awhile since more than two Cubs have made the National League All-Star roster.
Definitely excited to see that.
On a side note, Bryant is reported to be okay after colliding with Albert Almora and having to leave the game. The collision took us back to the beginning of April when Kyle Schwarber and Dexter Fowler ran into each out in Arizona.
Only this time, the result is going to be different. Kris is expected to return to the lineup for today’s game two against the Cincinnati Reds.