Bryant's pop returns in first multi-HR game
CHICAGO -- Kris Bryant hit his first home run of the night off a curveball from Dodgers starter Clayton Kershaw, driving the pitch out to right field.
But it was the second home run in the Cubs' 4-2 win, the one on an elevated fastball from Adam Liberatore, that had Cubs manager Joe Maddon the most excited.
"More than the curveball, I like that he got to that fastball," Maddon said. "That tells me that the [opposite field] homer [off Kershaw] really got his confidence going. I really took that as a really good sign.
"I just have so much faith in him. When a guy goes through a drop like that, it just takes one night."
Bryant provided three RBIs in his first career multi-home run game. His first homer, a two-run shot in the third inning, was his first base hit after going 15 at-bats without one.
His last blast, in the eighth inning, brought the crowd to its feet, where they clamored for a curtain call. The 23-year old rookie obliged at the prodding of teammate Anthony Rizzo.
"It's another notch in the belt, I guess," Bryant said after his night. "It's cool to do that. Those are always good games you'll remember forever."
Bryant's was the first home run off a curveball from Kershaw this season, according to ESPN Stats and Info.
In his past 27 at-bats before Monday's game, Bryant had mustered five hits and four RBIs -- all of which came on a grand slam -- and saw his average drop from .294 to .277.
But it wasn't indicative of his season. Bryant now carries a .384 on-base percentage and .485 slugging percentage, which rank ninth and 13th, respectively, in the National League.
"It's a game of peaks and valleys, and I was in a valley," Bryant said. "I went into the game telling myself I was due for a big game, and I got it.
"It's so easy to look down on yourself, but those are the types of runs that make you the type of player you're going to be."