Bryant Explodes in Slugfest, Cubs Down Reds (VIDEO)

Kris Bryant hit everything he swung at Monday night – far! He was a one man wrecking machine for the Chicago Cubs (49-26) in their 11-8 victory over the Cincinnati Reds (29-48), hitting three mammoth home runs, accounting for six RBIs and four runs on the night (Box Score).

It was clear from the start that Jake Arrieta (12-2, 2.10 ERA) would need more run support than normal. Jake continues to battle issues with his command. After his last outing against the Cardinals, which the Cubs lost 7-2, Arrieta mentioned that he just needed to make a small tweak – he knew what it was, and it was a simple fix. Boom, and done, right? Wrong. The tweak didn’t go very well.

Jake gave up two runs in the bottom of the first inning, which tied the game at 2-2. He went on to give up three more runs, all earned, before exiting after five innings with the Cubs leading 8-5.

What Jake lacked on the night from the mound, he made up for with his bat. In the top of the fifth inning he pounded his second home run of the year and ended the game going 2-for-3 with 2 runs and one walk. He’s now batting .294 on the year.

The Cubs’ bullpen had some difficulty – for the second straight game – giving up three runs on four hits. Fortunately, thanks to Kris Bryant’s dominating offensive performance, along with home runs by Anthony Rizzo and Jake Arrieta, the Cubs get the win.

Stats that mattered

  • Jake needs to re-tweak his tweak – 5R, 4H, 5BB, 4Ks, 1HR
  • Kris Bryant is just plain good – 5-for-5, 4R, 6RBIs, 3HR, 2-2B
  • Anthony Rizzo had another solid game – 2-for-3, 1R, 1RBI, 2BB, HR, 2B
  • Willson Contreras is picking up right where he left off at Iowa with another solid night – 2-for-4, 1BB

Bottom line

The important thing here is that the Cubs got the win, albeit a fairly ugly one considering they gave up eight runs to the lowly Reds. I’m not overly concerned about Jake, even if he’s had some bad outings lately. I’ll be more concerned if he lets this hiccup get inside his head. That’s TBD right now but would be a huge concern if he starts battling mental issues.

Next up

The Cubs meet the Reds at 6:10 PM CDT on Tuesday night with Jon Lester (9-3, 2.10 ERA) taking the hill.

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