Chicago Cubs manager Joe Maddon has always praised Kris Bryant for his versatility on the diamond, and he really put that to the test in one crazy inning on Wednesday night.
That’s because Bryant, who started the game in left field, ended up playing three different positions in the bottom of the 12th inning against the Milwaukee Brewers. In addition to moving all over the diamond, Bryant used three different gloves in the inning, including borrowing a first baseman’s mitt from Javier Baez during the marathon frame.
In that inning, the Brewers managed to load up the bases with no outs, and pitcher Travis Wood was called upon to clean up the mess. In order to help the hurler, Maddon had to get creative, and he used the versatility of Bryant to get the job done.
To start with, Bryant moved in to play third base against Brewers pinch hitter Hernan Perez, tossing his mitt into the dugout in favor of his tan-colored third base glove. Perez ended up lofting a ball over the five-man infield, but the fly ball wasn’t deep enough to score the run from third as Dexter Fowler made the catch and tossed the ball back into the infield.
When Aaron Hill stepped up to bat, Bryant swapped gloves with teammate Javier Baez, moving over to first base in a defensive shift designed to help potentially turn a double play on a ground ball. It ended up being a moot point however, as Hill popped out to shortstop for the second out of the inning.
Finally, Bryant gave Baez his glove back, tossed his third baseman’s glove back into the dugout, and got his outfield glove back, and watched as Martin Maldonado popped out to first base to end the inning and get the Cubs out of a massive jam.
The defensive stand ended up paying dividends for the Cubs, as Wood drew a bases loaded walk in the top of the 13th inning and helped Chicago to a 2-1 victory over their division rivals.