Bryant breaks in new bleachers with homer
Cubs phenom christens left-field seats with first Wrigley Field homer
CHICAGO -- Cubs rookie Kris Bryant christened the left-field bleachers on Monday night with his second big league home run.
Monday was the first game in which fans were able to sit in the left- and center-field bleachers at Wrigley Field, which have been part of the first phase of renovation work -- the right-field bleachers are scheduled to open in June. Most of the fans in the bleachers were wearing pink T-shirts as part of breast cancer awareness.
"That was pretty cool, a lot of pink out there," Bryant said after the game, a 4-3 win over the Mets that opened a seven-game homestand for the Cubs. "That was my first experience with fans out there and it was a lot of fun. They were having a lot of fun out there."
Bryant, who hit his first Major League home run on Friday at Miller Park against the Brewers, connected in the first off a 2-1 pitch from the Mets' Jacob deGrom, driving in Dexter Fowler, who was hit by a pitch. It was his first blast at Wrigley Field.
"A lot more cheers here. That was a pretty special moment for me," Bryant said. "I'm glad we got the 'W' there."
"That ball was properly struck," Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. "Kris caught that one. Normally, power hitters, when they get it going, home runs come in bunches."
Bryant's ball sailed deep into the left-field seats, far enough to show off Wrigley's new video board. Statcast™ tracked the batted ball speed on Bryant's homer at 109 mph with a distance of 436 feet and launch angle of 28 degrees.
Anthony Rizzo then launched the first pitch he saw from deGrom into the empty right-field seats for a 3-0 lead. Statcast™ tracked Rizzo's 397-foot blast with a batted ball speed of 104 mph, and launch angle of 22 degrees.
"I'm sure everyone's excited about that," Rizzo said. "We talk about it. It's really nice for him to get that monkey off his back here at Wrigley. First game of the homestand, we have a big homestand here, it's good to get the first win."
It's the first time Bryant and Rizzo have connected on back-to-back blasts this season, and the second time the Cubs have done so. Chris Coghlan and Mike Olt hit consecutive homers April 11 against the Rockies.