Tuesday April 21st, 2015

Kris Bryant's 0-for-4 major league debut on Friday may have been a tough one, but based on Monday night's 5-2 win over the Pirates, the Cubs' rookie third baseman is already getting a feel for big-league pitching. Against Pittsburgh, Bryant came within just a few feet of his first career home run, belting a ball to the base of the wall in right-centerfield in the seventh inning for a double. But thanks to some cringe-worthy Pirates defense, Bryant was able to turn that ringing double into a Little League homer.

With runners on first and second and two out, Bryant took a 99 mph fastball from Pirates reliever Arquimedes Caminero and drilled it nearly 400 feet. Jorge Soler scored easily from second, followed by Anthony Rizzo all the way from first, as Bryant collected his second career two-bagger. That's where it all went terribly wrong for Pittsburgh.

As shortstop Jung Ho Kang fired the ball home to try to get Rizzo, Bryant alertly broke for third base. Kang's throw got away from catcher Francisco Cervelli, with the ball bouncing off his glove. Bryant decided to head for home, but he slipped rounding third, getting himself caught in a rundown. It looked like Bryant's mad dash was at an end, before third baseman Josh Harrison's throw home clanked off Cervelli's glove and allowed Bryant to race in and score.

Although the play won't count as a home run for Bryant—it went down as a double and an error on Cervelli—you wouldn't know it by the smile on his face after he scored. The super prospect finished the night 3 for 4 with a walk, a double and three RBIs, and he's now picked up six hits in his last 12 at-bats.

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide - from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Seth Davis, and more - delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.