It has been somewhat of a slow start offensively for the Chicago Cubs to begin the year. After lighting up the scoreboard in 2016, the defending champions are trying to find their rhythm.
During last night’s contest, the Chicago Cubs had runners in scoring position on multiple occasions. However, they failed to capitalize, later suffering a heartbreaking walk-off loss on Mike Montgomery‘s wild pitch.
The 2-1 loss at the hands of the Milwaukee Brewers was the team’s second walk-off loss in a little under a week. Not necessarily something you want to happen but it’s baseball – anything can happen.
So far, one name from Joe Maddon‘s lineup has stuck out and it’s not for good reasons, either. Despite solid defensive work, 2015 Rookie of the Year and 2016 National League MVP, Kris Bryant, is struggling.
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Yes, Bryant is human after all. In 16 at-bats, the 25-year-old phenom has managed to record only one hit. That lone hit was an infield single on Friday evening. He nearly launched his first home run of the year in the first inning but it landed in the right fielder’s glove.
Even Cubs’ radio broadcaster, Pat Hughes, thought it was gone. All you could hear over the broadcast was solid contact – that familiar home run pop that fills a stadium.
Nothing. Surely, Bryant is frustrated with himself but knows that it’s too early when he has 158 more games to turn things around.
League On Notice
Trust me, there the chances of Bryant keeping up this type of performance through the entire season is pretty slim. His slow start only means he is bound to start zoning in on opposing pitchers.
Which spells bad news for the rest of the league, good news for the good guys. Yet, an interesting stat was posted on Twitter by ESPN via Elias Sports. Prior to Bryant’s infield single, his 0-for-14 surpassed Ryne Sandberg‘s early slump for a reigning MVP in 1985.
Sandberg won National League MVP honors in 1984. He wouldn’t record his first hit of the year until April 13th, 1985 where he ended the day 1-for-5 (double) in the 8-3 win over Montreal. In addition, he capped the year with 113 hits, 31 doubles, six triples, 26 homers, and 83 RBI while slashing .305/.364/.504/.868.
See, it’s not all that bad. I mean, if one of the greatest Cubs’ infielders of all-time can bounce back, certainly a future franchise leader could too, right?
Right. Hopefully, he manages to come alive in the rest of this weekend set with the Milwaukee Brewers.