West Coast trips give me a headache. They make me nervous because they’re always tough. First, they’re the equivalent of a southpaw in boxing that can throw any team’s balance off.A team can have a great win streak until they face a west coast juggernaught like the Dodgers. Another reason I don’t like west coast series is the time. I’m getting older man, and staying up later is proving to be quite difficult, so last night’s 6-4 victory over the Dodgers proved to be one of epic proportions.
Kris Bryant has got to be the frontrunner for MVP this season. He’s got be that leading candidate. The guy is the total package in baseball. He hit two home runs last night but these weren’t two home runs in any game, the Cubs came back and won the game in the ninth because of them. See? A clutch in epic proportions.
“He doesn’t quit,” Jason Heyward said of Bryant. “He doesn’t want to stop, and that’s special in the makeup of somebody young, and special in the makeup in a player in general. … You can talk about why he’s hitting the ball well, and he has a good approach. It’s that simple. He works his tail off every day to try and go out there and help us win. When you have that gift and that work ethic, a lot of good things can happen if you stay positive.”
That’s the mark of a great leader. He helps his team win everyday. The Cubs are filled with that kind of persona. Every player gives 110% but there’s that extra push from Kris Bryant. Anthony Rizzo has that too.
“We have many guys who are having good years,” Maddon said. “[Bryant], the biggest difference is his swing has gotten shorter. It’s more contact oriented and he’s not chasing as much. He’s able to put the ball in play with two strikes. For me, that’s the biggest difference between this year and last year.”
I think Bryant is that special player who can elevate his game to the next level with ease. Mature beyond his years, he garners the respect from his teammates and when Jason Heyward, who is having some struggles this season, had a great game as well received some heaping praise from Bryant.
“It inspires me,” he said. “It makes me want to be like him. Always keeping his head up, always being positive. I can’t say enough about him.”
Baseball is probably the most “head gamish” sport of them all. A streak can quickly turn into a slump, and a high priced free agent can quietly become a bum. The Cubs are doing great things this season. There is just over four weeks left in the regular season, the Cubs are positioned to go deep into the playoffs and “MVP!” was chanted at Dodger Stadium.
“It’s pretty cool,” Bryant said. “Growing up, you hear that on TV and to hear it now, it’s humbling and keeps me going, and keeps me determined to do more. It’s pretty cool to hear.”
Life doesn’t get better than that.