As soon as the new video board was erected in Wrigley Field’s left field, fans started asking who the first player would be to hit it. As it turns out, Jorge Soler was reportedly the first one to hit the new board, the day the Cubs returned to Wrigley for Opening Night. But that was during batting practice.
The next question was who would hit the board during a game. Those who placed their bets on Kris Bryant were rewarded last night as the rookie hit a 477 foot home run off the new video board in left field. Before the board was erected that home run would have traveled out of the park and up Kenmore Avenue, or into the window of an apartment across the street on Waveland Avenue.
This is the Kris Bryant fans have waited to see. Bryant is known for his powerful home runs. During spring training he hit four home runs in six games, and since he joined the major league team he has hit seven home runs in his last 17 games and has 21 RBIs in his last 21 games. And give the kid more credit. In a time when players are being criticized for watching their home runs fly out of the park, Bryant has said he does not like to watch his own home runs. Some of the veterans could use a lesson or two from the kid.
It was one of those nights at Wrigley. The start of the game was delayed about 15 minutes after a storm blew in and out of the area, with ESPN’s Doug Glanville reporting from a new standing area in the left field bleachers. But the rain did not last long. The sun returned and illuminated the ballpark with a beautiful but eerie light, and suddenly a rainbow appeared, which seemingly brought the Cubs good luck as it rained hard around the ballpark and rained home runs inside the park. Bryant’s home run in the eighth tied the game at two and Addison Russell’s walk-off double drove in Jonathan Herrera who was at first on a fielder’s choice for a final score of 3-2 over the Washington Nationals. Total time of the game was 2:33 with an announced attendance of 30,440.
Fans are shaking their heads at the bullpen. Six of the Cubs’ last eight games have been decided by one run, with the Cubs winning only two of those games, including last night’s win. However, they are 13-10 in one-run games for the year.
While fans in the bleachers check the video board for a dent from last night’s game, Jon Lester will face Max Scherzer in the finale of the series with the Nats. Perhaps tonight some of that magic will rub off on Lester, who is looking for his first major league hit. Even if he doesn’t get a hit, the pitching match-up on top of last night’s magic should have the fans who aren’t at the Blackhawks game glued to their seats.