MILWAUKEE – Kris Bryant felt dizzy and walked off the field in the middle of Sunday afternoon’s game at Miller Park, the Cubs trying to protect their All-Star rookie.
That cast a shadow over this four-game sweep of the Milwaukee Brewers, even as the Cubs moved to 10 games over .500 for the first time all season, heading into showdowns with two National League contenders.
Bryant had slid headfirst into second base, trying to stretch an RBI single in the fifth inning of a 4-3 win over the Brewers. That hustle play forced him to undergo concussion-protocol testing.
“I’m feeling better,” Bryant said, “and we’ll see what it feels like tomorrow.”
Bryant hadn’t seen the video by the time he met with reporters inside the visiting clubhouse. It looked like Brewers shortstop Jean Segura tagged his helmet hard during the collision.
“I think I went into his leg,” Bryant said. “I don’t know if it was the tag or anything like that.”
The Cubs (57-47) obviously need Bryant’s presence for the seven-games-in-seven-days stretch against the Pittsburgh Pirates and San Francisco Giants that begins Monday night at PNC Park.
“He’s a little bit dizzy at the moment,” manager Joe Maddon said. “He got banged a little bit on the slide, popped in the head.
“We took him out (as a precaution). I think he’s going to be fine.”
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There have been times where Bryant looks like he’s about to crash into the rookie wall, hitting .168 in July and feeling the weight of carrying the offensive load.
But Bryant and All-Star first baseman Anthony Rizzo lead the team with 61 RBI each. Bryant began the day with a .791 OPS that ranked seventh among all qualified third basemen in the majors.
The Brewers challenged the play, but the replay review upheld the safe call on the field. Bryant keeps finding ways to contribute with aggressive baserunning, patience at the plate and better-than-advertised defense, even with his average dropping to .246.
“He’s one of the best baserunners in the National League right now,” Maddon said. “I really want him to understand all these other things he’s doing really, really well.
“Big hit today, obviously, but it goes beyond that. He understands playing the complete game. That’s another typical example of the different things he does to help you win every day.”