Chicago Cubs 2016 NL Central Championship Gear

Last year, Kris Bryant reached 99 RBI on September 27th, with seven games left to play in the season.

Kris Bryant finished the year with 99 RBI.

It’s not that RBI is a great statistic for evaluating performance, being that it’s far too subject to the performances of others in the lineup and random opportunities, but it’s just one of those fun, baseball card stats that we like to see from time to time. And when a guy can get to the completely arbitrary, but totally cool plateau of 100 RBI, it’s worth noting. So, when Bryant didn’t quite get there last year, it was noteworthy.

This year, Bryant got to 99 RBI on September 22, and then went a few RBI-less games. Would it happen again? Was he pressing? Why must you be so cruel, ye gods of baseball statistics!

Oh, actually, it took only four games, and Bryant blasted a two-run homer last night against the Pirates to rocket past the century mark:

(Apologies that the video is not yet embeddable, but you can watch at the link.)

The pitcher’s reaction was great – hopeful, hopeful, hopeful … crap.

About that homer: go home, PNC Park, you’re drunk. Bryant hit the ball 406 feet to left center and it just barely made it into the first row. The ball would be gone, according to the Home Run Tracker, at every ballpark in baseball, and dollars to donuts says PNC is the only one where a ball like that even thinks about staying in the park. At Wrigley Field, that baby is 10 rows up.

Bryant’s season line is now up to .295/.389/.564, but his 152 wRC+ is now all the way down at 4th in the NL thanks to absurdly hot second halves from Joey Votto and Freddie Freeman (Daniel Murphy is still up there, too, though at 156, all four are pretty bunched together). Bryant is still the NL WAR leader by a country mile, though (8.5 to Corey Seager’s second place 7.6).

That shot, by the way, was also Bryant’s 39th homer of the year, one behind league leader Nolan Arenado.

So that means another completely arbitrary but totally cool plateau is right there for the passing: 40 homers. I want to see it. No pressure.

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