Kris Bryant lights up miserable Nationals bullpen on way to rare homer feat

Yahoo Sports Contributor
Yahoo Sports

Here’s some scary news for the National League.

For the first time in a long time, Kris Bryant looks locked in at the plate.

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The Chicago Cubs slugger delivered his second career three-homer game in their dominant 14-6 victory against the Washington Nationals on Friday night.

In the process, he pulled off a truly rare feat.

Unusual hat trick

Bryant really did a number on Washington’s MLB-worst bullpen.

In the seventh inning, he hit a two-run home run off Justin Miller. In the eighth, he went back-to-back with Kyle Schwarber against Kyle Barraclough. Then in the ninth, Bryant completed his hat trick when he hit another two-run blast off Matt Grace.

In doing so, Bryant became only the 12th player in MLB history to homer in three consecutive innings. And just the second to do it in the seventh, eighth and ninth innings.

The exclusive group includes one other Cub.

On Aug. 10, 2002, Sammy Sosa hit successive three-run homers in the third, fourth and fifth innings of a game at Coors Field.

‘Taking candy from a baby’

Some might say Bryant’s achievement is less impressive coming against Washington’s dreadful relief corps.

Someone in the Cubs clubhouse might actually agree.

Ouch.

Washington’s bullpen entered the game with an MLB-worst 6.20 ERA. That number jumped to 6.82 after they allowed 11 more earned runs in three innings against Chicago. All this came after Max Scherzer posted a quality start.

Chicago Cubs slugger Kris Bryant pulled off a rare home run hat trick against the Washington Nationals. (Getty Images)
Chicago Cubs slugger Kris Bryant pulled off a rare home run hat trick against the Washington Nationals. (Getty Images)

Is Kris Bryant back?

Nationals struggles aside, Bryant will take the positives here.

His 2018 season was spoiled by a shoulder injury that limited his power and playing time. The results were career lows in homers (13) and games played (102).

His 2019 didn’t start too hot either. In April, he hit just .230/.355/.420 with three homers. In May though, it appears he's finally turned the corner. Bryant entered Friday hitting .327/.476/.714 and now has eight homers this month.

What’s most encouraging is the return of his power stroke. Bryant has been driving the ball to all fields much like he did during his MVP season in 2016.

It sure feels like he’s back.

Friday’s performance may have been Bryant’s way of making that official.

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