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.