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Ranking the best home run reactions from the Cubs' record-breaking NLDS Game 3

Ranking the Cubs' best home run reactions

With the Cubs and Cardinals tied at one game apiece in the NLDS, the two squared off at Wrigley Field for Game 3 on Monday night. Mother Nature wanted to make sure that it was an entertaining evening, so the winds kicked up to 17 mph out toward right field. 

And the Cubs took advantage of it with some absolutely massive blasts, combining to smash a postseason record six dingers in their 8-6 victory over the Cardinals. Even though the majority of the homers were to center or left. 

But while the home runs were as bold as eating potato chips dipped in ranch dressing, it's the reactions - from fans, teammates and even the occasional celebrity -- that we're most interested in today. You know, like the reactions one gets when people see you eating potato chips dipped into ranch dressing.

We'll go in order of the home runs: 

1. Kyle Schwarber opens the scoring

Sure, the fans are excited and Schwarber's massive swing and stoic goatee are something to watch. But with the game in its early stages and no fans sensing that there will be roughly 800 more dingers to come, it is a relatively tame reaction from the Wrigley crowd.

Home Run Impressiveness: 3/5

Quality of Reaction: 2/5

First Home Run Boost: +1

Total: 6/10

2. Starlin Castro ties the game and impresses everyone. Well, nearly everyone. 

With the Cubs trailing, 2-1, in the bottom of the fourth, Starlin Castro blasted a massive game-tying home run to center field. Naturally, everyone in the crowd went nuts.

Except ... there was one fan who wasn't impressed. One fan who was either undercover or simply the coolest guy in the room. (You can tell he's cool because of the sunglasses.) 

Look. One moment he's not there: 


And then there he is, thoroughly unimpressed:


Home Run Impressiveness: 4/5

Quality of Reaction: 3/5

Undercover operatives who are excited: 0

Total: 7/10

3. Kris Bryant unleashes the most photogenic of home run swings

Normally we measure home run trots in time. But in Bryant's case, we measure it in the number of lumens given off by Bryant's sparkling smile on the swing. Warning: those with sensitive eyes should look away. 


Given that his single in the first inning had ended an 0-for-the-postseason drought, it makes sense that his smile was so wide when he went yard in the fifth. 

Though there were a few people who didn't just smile. There were also these intrepid body builders. Just look at that form from the Blackhawks fan. He's probably still flexing those 'ceps to this day. 


Home Run Impressiveness: 4/5

Quality of Reaction: 3/5

Smile Lumens (in 100s): 3

Not-Quite-Bodybuilders: -2

Overall: 10/10

4. Anthony Rizzo inspires Starlin Castro 

In the realm of home run reaction GIFs, there is one that stands so far above the rest in terms of its beauty and import to the form, it has been referred to as the Hamlet of home run reactions. I speak, of course, of Delmon Young's reaction to Jim Thome's awe-inspiring blast. 


Well, Castro did his best to be like Laurence Olivier as he reprised the role on Anthony Rizzo's fifth-inning shot, which was projected by Statcast™ at 433 feet. 


Home Run Impressiveness: 5/5

Quality of Reaction: 5/5

# of Hamlet References in this post: 1

Overall: 11/10

5. Jorge Soler looks out for No. 1

Jorge Soler has stepped to the plate nine times this postseason. He has walked four times, singled twice, doubled and homered twice. And his second home run helped break the game open for the Cubs, pushing their lead to 7-4. 

So, while rounding the bases, Soler made sure to lift his index finger to the heavens. What was he saying? "Our lead was one, but now is three?" "I am only one plate appearance away from 10 straight postseason plate appearances without making an out?" "Look up in the sky -- that's where my home run balls fly?" 

Perhaps well never know. 

Home Run Impressiveness: 4/5

Quality of Reaction: 3/5

Index fingers used: 1

Overall: 8/10

6. Dexter Fowler sends a ball into the pitcher's rearviewmirror

No, that's not a typo, that's a reference to a Pearl Jam song. Why am I referencing a Pearl Jam song? Probably because beyond Dexter Fowler's home run not only gave the Cubs the postseason record with six home runs in one game, but it also sent Pearl Jam frontman Eddie Vedder into a state of ecstatic delight. 


Just look at this guy -- in his jacket, with a notebook and glasses -- he looks more like he belongs in the press box than he does on some arena stage. It even earned him a fistbump from Theo Epstein himself. 

Also, completely unrelated, but does Eddie Vedder not look like an exact double of the actor Zachary Knighton? You don't think that ... no ... you don't think that Knighton would be pretending to be Vedder to hang out with Epstein, do you? That's crazy ... right? 

Home Run Impressiveness: 3/5

Quality of Reaction: 4/5

Famous singers who are very happy: 1

Famous singers who look like famous actors who are maybe pretending to be Eddie Vedder to hang out with Theo Epstein: -1

Overall: 8/10

Well, that seals it. Anthony Rizzo's home run with Starlin Castro's "OH DANG!" reaction owns the night. They can pick up their Oooooh Dinger Award at coat check. 

Read More: Chicago CubsStarlin CastroJorge SolerKyle SchwarberDexter FowlerKris BryantAnthony Rizzo