On a day with the wind blowing in (north wind at 23 mph) at Wrigley Field, Kris Bryant unloaded on a 0-2 pitch from Gio Gonzalez leading off the fourth inning and hit his longest home run on the young season.
Bryant broke a 1-1 tie with another impressive homer at the old ballyard.
Bryant’s homer, his fifth on the season, traveled 423 feet with an exit velocity of 107.9 mph and a launch angle of 31.8 degrees. Bryant crushed the ball for it to cut through the wind the way it did.
Pat Hughes commented earlier in the game that only a slugger like Bryant could hit a home run out to left field with the way the wind was howling in. Hughes estimated after Bryant’s blast that on a day with the wind blowing out, like Friday, the ball Bryant hit would have likely ended up on Kenmore Ave.
Bryant’s homer was his first longball since April 21, the night he smacked two home runs, one was his third career Grand Slam and drove in six runs while Jake Arrieta threw his second no-hitter. Bryant has hit safely in six of his last seven games with two doubles but no dingers until Saturday. The shot off Gonzalez was the first homer for Bryant this season against a team other than the Reds.
Maddon appears to be happy with Bryant hitting in the three-hole of the lineup in front of Anthony Rizzo. Batting third this season, Bryant has a .294/.385/.500 slash line with five doubles, three home runs and a .885 OPS in 17 games (68 at bats). Hitting behind Rizzo, Bryant’s slash line is .282/.378/.513 with three doubles and two home runs for a .891 OPS in 10 games (39 at bats).
For the season, Bryant is batting .288/.378/.495 with eight doubles, five home runs and a .873 OPS. Bryant has 14 walks and 28 strikeouts in 28 games (111 at bats). And he hasn’t gotten on track at Wrigley Field yet.