Keep in mind, though, that he was facing James Shields, a former All-Star with over 1,600 career strikeouts. Shields struck out Bryant two more times, and after the 23-year-old’s third K, Cubs fans started to get a bit restless, yelling “You suck!” to a player who hit nine homers in 14 games this spring training and more or less is the future of the franchise.
What Bryant couldn’t do at the plate, though, he made up for in the field, starting a double play in the first inning and making a diving catch on a line drive in the fifth.
Bryant clearly is an exciting player who has a bright future in front of him. For now, though, he’ll have to deal with the enormous expectations that Chicago fans already have placed on him.