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."
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."
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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."