The Cubs' Incredible 11th Inning, and Kris Bryant's First Hit (VIDEO)

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The Cubs’ Incredible 11th Inning, and Kris Bryant’s First Hit (VIDEO)

Chicago Cubs

castro cubs walk off celebrate mbdMaybe it’s a layman trying to insert his own psyche into that of professional ballplayers, but I always find it impressive – in terms of the mental game – when a team is able to win a game in which they’d previously choked away a huge lead. No, the game as a whole is thus not necessarily the most impressive thing in the world, but, specifically, the act of collecting yourselves, and then staying sufficiently focused to win.

Look at yesterday’s game. The Cubs almost inexplicably lost their four-run lead in the ninth, and then had to face Craig Kimbrel in the 11th. Anthony Rizzo worked a hugely disciplined at bat, and was walked. Then he stole second because Kimbrel was paying attention only to the batter, Kris Bryant. Because of that steal, Bryant’s chopper up the middle couldn’t cut down the lead man – Rizzo, who went to third – and resulted in a hit because Bryant busted it to first base. David Ross was patient when it was clear Kimbrel was trying to get him to chase. And then Starlin Castro did what he needed to do with the bases loaded, one out, and a drawn in infield. Put the ball in play, hopefully with a little mustard on it:

And how about this view of a guy who knows he just won it:

With that hit, Castro’s third of the day, he’s quietly up to a .317/.349/.415 line on the year.

We couldn’t see it in the celebration (at least I didn’t see it), but Miguel Montero confirms the most important thing:

Since we’re looking at highlights from the game, how about a look at Kris Bryant’s first big league hit:

I was more impressed by him aggressively taking second on that throw to third than I was by the hit, itself.

Beautiful walk-off celebration picture from @MBDChicago, who has lots of other great shots you should check out.

Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.