During the Chicago Cubs 2016 season, it seemed like something unbelievable was happening on a near-daily basis. On this date, June 27, back in 2016, reigning NL Rookie of the Year Kris Bryant made history in a monster performance at Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati.
The sophomore slugger did something just two other players had ever done in one game: collect five extra-base hits. Bryant smacked a trio of home runs, adding a pair of two-baggers for good measure in an 11-8 win over the Reds.
Backing reigning National League Cy Young Award winner Jake Arrieta, Bryant got things started in the top of the first against Reds righty Dan Straily, taking an 0-1 pitch down the left field line for an RBI double. Jason Heyward raced all the way around from first to score and give the Cubs an early 1-0 advantage.
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Two innings later, KB jumped all over a flat 90 MPH pitch that was belt-high and sent it over the wall in center field for a solo blast. In the fourth, Bryant stayed hot, taking yet another 1-0 pitch from Straily and depositing it deep into the left-field seats in the form of a three-run shot, giving Chicago a 7-3 edge.
The moral of the story for Reds pitching in this game? Don’t fall behind Kris Bryant.
Chicago Cubs: Even then, Kris Bryant could beat you in so many ways.
In the sixth, Bryant ripped a rocket up the middle into left-center and, this time, he showcased his speed, legging out his second two-bagger of the game. To this day, the three-time All-Star runs the bases remarkably well, yet this is probably the most overlooked aspect of his game.
And let’s not forget the encore he gave us in his final AB – a towering upper tank shot that sailed deep into the Cincinnati night, his third homer of the night and 21st of the year – this one coming against Ross Ohlendorf. Of course, this was how Bryant dominated all season long, en route to the first MVP of his young career.
Like I said. That season is arguably the most memorable in Cubs history. But even in that remarkable run, Bryant’s performance on June 27 is one that stood out, even in a 103-win campaign for the North Siders that culminated in a World Series championship.