In the top of the 5th inning of yesterday’s 4-3 win over the Braves, Kris Bryant stepped up to the plate with Ben Zobrist standing on first and just one out.
Bryant proceeded to hit a grounder right back at the pitcher, Julio Teheran, who then turned and fired the ball to Brandon Phillips for the out at second base. But because Bryant was hustling his a** off down the line, he beat the throw to first and avoided the double play. Not moments later he stole second base.
After that play, each of Anthony Rizzo and Willson Contreras walked, loading the bases for Kyle Schwarber. Schwarber ultimately grounded out, but it took an amazing play by Freddie Freeman to pull it off and prevent 2-3 more runs from scoring. Because of Kris Bryant’s hustle, the Cubs nearly padded their lead by quite a bit. That, my friends, is playing the whole game, or, as Joe Maddon would put it, respecting 90.
This is hardly the only example of Bryant showing off his dedication, determination, and, of course, hustle though, so it should come as no surprise to learn that he was just awarded the annual Heart and Hustle award for the Cubs:
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) July 18, 2017
Indeed, the Major League Baseball Players Alumni Associated – comprised of former players – voted and decided the Cubs’ third baseman was most deserving Cub for the award.
You can read more about the award here, but in short, one player from each team is selected as a team winner (which is what Bryant is right now), before one single winner is announced after the season. And if this all sounds familiar, it’s likely because Anthony Rizzo was both the Cubs’ representative and ultimate winner of the award back in 2015. We’ll have to see if Bryant can follow in his footsteps.
You can see the full list of team reps here at MLBPAAA.MLBcom, and congratulations to a deserving Kris Bryant.