CHICAGO -- It'd be nice, Kristopher Bryant said, to bat .300 with runners in scoring position and do everything right."But this game is hard," the Cubs' third baseman said.Bryant hasn't exactly scuffled, but his numbers aren't quite the same as they were last season when he won the National League
CHICAGO -- It'd be nice, Kristopher Bryant said, to bat .300 with runners in scoring position and do everything right.
"But this game is hard," the Cubs' third baseman said.
Bryant hasn't exactly scuffled, but his numbers aren't quite the same as they were last season when he won the National League MVP Award. On Tuesday night, he hit his first home run in September, a three-run shot, to spark the Cubs to an 8-3 victory over the Mets and snap a three-game losing streak.
Bryant added a sacrifice fly in the eighth to tie a season high with four RBIs. His home run was his first at Wrigley Field with at least two runners on base since July 4, 2015, when he hit a grand slam against the Marlins.
"It's not going to come that easy every year," Bryant said. "I wish it would -- actually, I don't know if I wish it would. You kind of enjoy the ups and downs of this game because when you're in a down spot, and you come out of it, you feel so much better. It's important for us to realize that."
The Cubs were in a funk over the weekend against the Brewers, who swept a three-game series to close the gap in the NL Central.
"It was nice to win a game after three not-so-good games," Bryant said.
However, the Cubs did not get off to a good start against the Mets' Robert Gsellman. Chicago had two on and one out in the first, and Gsellman got Ian Happ to hit into a double play. With two on and two outs in the third, Gsellman struck out Happ, who flung his bat and helmet in disgust. Bryant delivered in the fourth, launching a 3-2 pitch into the left-field bleacher seats for his 26th home run.
"We had opportunities early in this game, and K.B.'s home run really turned the tide," Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. "We've been looking for that one big hit. He has this tendency to hit balls to left central to get us going."
"I don't want to take all the credit -- I think everybody had great at-bats," Bryant said.
Kyle Schwarber finished with three hits, including a solo home run, his 26th, and Happ smacked his 22nd with two outs in the seventh.
Bryant is now batting .189 in September, collecting his first RBIs of the month on Tuesday. He has been setting up Anthony Rizzo well. Bryant leads the Cubs in walks and ranks eighth in the NL in on-base percentage. But, he batted .263 with runners in scoring position last year and was hitting .204 in those situations this season.
"I think I've got a lot more walks this year with runners in scoring position, which is a good thing," Bryant said. "I'm getting on base, but not getting them in. 'Riz' is getting them in. It's just a weird year -- you think of the handful of lineouts you've had [with RISP], and it's like it's a completely different season.
"You're going to have years like that. You can't go out and rake every year. ... It feels weird taking more walks with runners in scoring position. We're baseball players and we want to hit the ball. It's important to take your walks when you get them. I've had a handful of times I could've put some pitches in play to get a run in but I took the walk. It's a fine line there."
By the way, he drew a walk in the first inning, No. 87 this season after drawing 75 last year.
Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast.