Bryant & Cubs Sink Pirates in NL Wildcard Playoff

Former USD star provides key defensive play to help Cubs reach NLDS

Chicago Cubs rookie Kris Bryant did not have his best game at the plate Wednesday.

The former San Diego Torero went 0-for-3 with a walk in four plate appearances against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

But he still contributed in a key moment of the National League wildcard game.

With the Cubs leading 4-0 in the bottom of the 7th with one out and a runner on 1st, the Pirates were threatening to get back in the contest.

Former Cub Aramis Ramirez belted a shot to the hot corner. Bryant reeled it in sharply off the hop and immediately fired to second base to get Francisco Cervelli. Chicago second baseman Starlin Castro then threw a laser to Rizzo to complete the twin killing.

The Pirates never threatened again.

At the dish, Bryant grounded into a double play in the first inning. He later worked a walk in the 3rd only to get doubled off 1st base when he strayed too far on a fly out to center by former Padre Anthony Rizzo.

He also struck out and lined out. But his playoff debut will still be a great memory for the young slugger – especially his defensive gem.

Fellow rookie Kyle Schwarber and outfielder Dexter Fowler were a 2-man wrecking crew at the plate. Fowler finished with 2 singles and a solo shot while Schwarber provided a RBI single in the 1st inning and smashed a moonshot to right for a 2-run homer in the 3rd. They combined for 5 of the Cubs 7 hits.

Cubs starting pitcher Jake Arrieta continued to befuddle the Pirates as he has all season. He brought a mind-boggling 0.75 ERA versus Pittsburgh to the table – and wound up striking out 11 batters during a complete game virtuoso performance.

Bryant and the Cubs visit St. Louis this weekend with game one of the NLDS set for Friday at 3:30 PT.

11 more wins for Chicago and the Back to the Future 2 movie prediction could come true in 2015. But that’s still a long way away.

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