BUST! Kris Bryant has struck out in his first three at bats in his big league debut

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Sorry. Been a lot of hyperbole today, so I figured I could add to it to.

But do know that Kris Bryant has finally played in a major league game. It’s not an official game yet — we’re only in the second inning — but he’s seen pitches thrown in anger in the big leagues.

In the top of the first Bryant got his first defensive chance, turning a 5-4-3 double play and lookin’ pretty good doing it. Then, in the bottom of the first, he came to bat with two outs and Anthony Rizzo on first. The cameras panned to Scott Boras and Bryant’s dad in the crowd and several thousand cameras took several thousand pictures. The Future of the Franchise stepped in against Big Game James Shields.

Bryant saw three pitches from Shields. He swung at all three of them, tipping the first one into the catcher’s glove and whiffing on the next two. Watch the at bat here.

The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

UPDATE: Second step: his second at bat, this in the fourth. First pitch: watched a called strike. Second: hard foul into the dugout. Third: foul to the same place, again, way ahead of the pitch. Fourth: the first ball he ever took as a major leaguer, in the dirt. Another ball low to make it 2-2. He worked the count full on a fastball outside, then  . . .  struck out swinging on a James Shields changeup, which has been fooling everyone today.

You know, for a guy who can hack a bit and who is likely filled with adrenaline today, going up against James Shields and that changeup is pretty unfair.

UPDATE: The top of the fifth just ended when Bryant made a pretty spiffy diving stab of a liner off the bat of Derek Norris for out number three. The bat is still quiet, but the leather is looking good. Thank goodness Bryant had those extra two weeks in the minors to work on that defense.

UPDATE: Bryant came up again with one out in the bottom of the fifth and runners on second and third, Cubs up 4-2. Swing and a miss on the first pitch. A ball nowhere near the zone. He then laid off a fastball super inside. Then he fouled one back to make it 1-2. Then he struck out on a ball low and away. James Shields is toying with the kid in his debut.

UPDATE: Four his fourth at bat, Bryant came up with two on and two out and grounded into fielder’s choice to third. Hey, contact!

Dodgers look to join the Red Sox in the World Series

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One team has punched its ticket to the Fall Classic. Two teams are looking to join them, with the Dodgers carrying the distinct advantage. Los Angeles needs only a split in the final two games of the NLCS while Milwaukee needing to win both games at home. Doable? Absolutely. But to do it, the Brewers are going to have to wake up their sleepy bats.

NLCS Game 6

Dodgers vs. Brewers
Ballpark: Miller Park
Time: 8:39 PM Eastern
TV: FS1
Pitchers:  Hyun-Jin Ryu vs Wade Miley
Breakdown:

The Dodgers will give the ball to left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu, who tossed seven shutout innings in Game 1 of the NLDS but allowed two runs and tossed 72 pitches, failing to get out of the fifth inning, in Game 2 against Milwaukee. Even if he again turns in a short outing Dave Roberts should feel pretty confident, however, as the Dodgers’ bullpen — considered a question mark coming into this series — has allowed only three runs in in 21 and two-thirds innings of work.

For Milwaukee it’s once again Wade Miley, who was the Game 5 “starter,” but who pitched to only one batter. I suppose it’s possible that Craig Counsell will burn him like that again, but it seems more likely that Miley will actually pitch in this game rather than be used as a decoy.

As I noted the other day, though, the Brewers’ pitching gamesmanship has not really been a factor in this series. The real problem for them has been their offense. They’ve scored only 16 runs in five games while batting .219. That’s actually identical to the Dodgers’ run total and average overall, but L.A. has been better at distributing that meager offense. Milwaukee has been cold at the worst times, too, going 5-for-35 with runners in scoring position in the series, including one for their last 11. If that doesn’t change, their season ends tonight.