Cubs

Cubs' Rizzo, Bryant soak in thrilling Home Run Derby experience

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Cubs' Rizzo, Bryant soak in thrilling Home Run Derby experience

CINCINNATI - Neither Anthony Rizzo nor Kris Bryant made it out of the first round of the Home Run Derby Monday night.

Neither of them cared.

At 25 and 23, respectively, Rizzo and Bryant were competing in their first Home Run Derby and they were just happy to take part in the festivities.

"It was so much fun," Bryant said. "I mean, I went up against Albert Pujols, who's had a Hall of Fame career. I have nothing but good things to say about tonight."

[RELATED - Cubs' Anthony Rizzo gets start at DH in All-Star Game]

Rizzo had the misfortune of going first in this year's new timed format. The Cubs first baseman hit eight homers and was ousted by Toronto Blue Jays slugger Josh Donaldson.

Bryant hit nine homers, one less than Pujols, who hit his 10th right at the buzzer.

"I'm really happy I got one," Bryant joked. "I didn't want to be the guy that didn't get any."

The new format - and rain in the area - made for a sort of abbreviated event. Each player had four minutes to hit as many home runs as they could and if they hit two over 425 feet, they received a 30-second time bonus.

In past years, each player received 10 outs and there was no time limit.

"Swinging a bat for four minutes straight is tiring," Bryant said. "I didn't really think it'd be that tiring. I was exhausted at the end of it.

"[The format] is a little different. I guess it's less pressure. The 10 outs thing, you only have 10 outs to get anything done. But here, you can kinda swing away and get some hacks in. I think it's a pretty good format."

The format worked out well for Reds star Todd Frazier, who won it all in thrilling fashion in front of the hometown crowd.

Both Rizzo and Bryant loved the crowd's energy, feeling the excitement added to their own experience.

"I mean, it was a ton of fun," Rizzo said. "I really didn't know what to expect. ... You just have fun with it. Which is exactly what I did - I had fun and really enjoyed it and definitely a memory that's gonna last forever."

[SHOP CUBS: Get an Anthony Rizzo All-Star Game jersey right here]

Bryant said he and Rizzo didn't have any friendly wager between them for their first Derby.

"I did beat him," Bryant said smiling, "so I guess I can kinda brag now."

Reds pitcher Amir Garrett apparently held a grudge against Javy Baez for a year

Reds pitcher Amir Garrett apparently held a grudge against Javy Baez for a year

Baseball players don't forget grudges. Javy Baez and Reds pitcher Amir Garrett gave an example of that on Saturday.

Garrett struck out Baez in the seventh inning of the first game of the Cubs-Reds doubleheader. Garrett showed some excitement with the strikeout and then said something to Baez. They both started jawing at each other and suddenly the benches cleared.

At first glance, it looked like Garrett was a bit too excited to get a strikeout with no one on base. Turns out Baez had his own bit of swag for Garrett last year (Friday was the one-year anniversary) in the form of a grand slam at Wrigley Field.

This time Garrett got Baez and wanted to even things up a bit.

Things didn't get too feisty despite the benches clearing, but Anthony Rizzo did rush to Baez's side at some speed. This could be a matchup to keep an eye out for in the future.

Cubs Talk Podcast: The greatest Cubs moments at Great American Ballpark

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USA TODAY

Cubs Talk Podcast: The greatest Cubs moments at Great American Ballpark

Siera Santos, Kelly Crull, and David DeJesus go into the audio archives to break down the biggest games for the Cubs in Cincinnati.

David DeJesus gives us his top 3 ballgames with such gems as The Schwarber Game, The Kris Bryant Game, Starlin Castro’s debut, and Jake Arrieta’s second no hitter.

Listen to the full Cubs Talk Podcast right here: