MILWAUKEE – Struggling Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant got the day off for Wednesday’s series finale against the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park.
Bryant is on an 0-for-15 skid, and he is without a home run since May 14. Manager Joe Maddon wanted to double up on the rest for Bryant, coupling Wednesday with Thursday’s scheduled off-day ahead of a big weekend series at St. Louis.
“I wanted to give him a day off, and then he gets two,” Maddon said. “Their pitcher today (Jhoulys Chacin), primarily, is very good against righties. I wanted to get more lefties out there. But it’s also a day game after a night game. I like to take advantage of a day off. By giving a guy a day off in front of a day off, he gets two days off. He gets his little mini All-Star break. And then they feel better after that.
“He’s just been off with his swing a little bit. He just looks fatigued a little bit. I just want to get him off his feet.”
Bryant expressed frustration to reporters late Tuesday night.
“It stinks to go out there and not get hits, but I’m playing for one of the best franchises in all sports, and looking back at what I’ve done, I feel pretty proud,” he said. “That’s what I go back to – it’s a game, and I’ve accomplished a lot so far.”
The rundown on the rundown: Maddon called Tuesday night’s botched rundown play in a 4-0 loss an “anomaly.”
With nobody out and Christian Yelich on second base in the third inning, Lorenzo Cain grounded up the middle. Cubs second baseman Javy Baez tried to get Yelich between second and third.
During the rundown, Cain ran almost to second base and then headed back to first as Yelich got back to second safely. Cubs pitcher Tyler Chatwood was left holding the ball as no one was covering first base.
“What should have happened there, we should have been able to conduct the rundown between second and third,” Maddon said. “That’s what broke down. So after that, all bets are off.
“Everybody rotates. If the catcher goes to third, the first baseman does need to come to the plate. There’s a lot going on.
“That play right there is an anomaly play. We should’ve gotten it done between second and third. If we had done that, that becomes moot.”
Rizzo rung up: Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo was called out on strikes in the eighth inning Wednesday. He argued vociferously with home-plate umpire Jim Reynolds, but Rizzo was not ejected.
“Usually in those situations, when you’re wrong, you get tossed,” Rizzo said. “I think I had a good, valid argument there. Jim and I get along really well. He knows that I’m competing. I thought it was ball. I stand by it. He saw it differently.”