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Kris Bryant's standing ovation and record-tying performance for Nolan Jones soured by loss to Cubs

Patrick Lyons Avatar
September 22, 2023

CHICAGO, Ill. – For a 25-year-old player in his rookie season, Nolan Jones has a lot of reverence for the history of baseball, especially in the Windy City.

“Growing up, watching baseball — this is obviously an iconic park — in 2016, I was drafted by the Guardians and got to watch Kris Bryant and the Cubs win a World Series here,” Jones said. “Getting an opportunity to play in all these different ballparks is something I always dreamed about. So this is definitely a cool one to check off.”

Before Friday’s contest with the Chicago Cubs, Jones spent some time taking in the 109-year-old ballpark. At 10 a.m. before any of the hometown players were on the field preparing for the 1:20 p.m. game, he was in the Wrigley Field batter’s box in shorts and sandals staring out towards the batter’s eye and imagining his success.

“It’s kind of just a relaxing, little view of what I’m gonna be looking at in a little bit,” he said. “It’s what I’ve dreamed of my whole life is playing in ballparks like this. So I think it’s surreal to get to go out there and soak it in… hopefully picture myself hitting homers and get ready for the game.”

Though Jones didn’t produce a long ball during the 6-0 loss,  the Rockies 97th of the season, he did record another outfield assist. His 100.3 mph throw from left field cut down Ian Happ at the plate for his 17th of the season, tying Dante Bichette’s franchise record from 1999.

Bichette set the mark as a 35-year-old in 1233.0 innings across 144 games in the outfield. For Jones, he did with a decade less of experience in his 84th game during his 705th inning in the outfield. “It’s cool. Yeah. Cool to be in a position to tie a Rockies great,” he said.

Kris Bryant, a member of the 2016 Cubs squad that won the first World Series for the organization in 107 years, received a standing ovation from the Wrigley Field faithful in his first appearance as a member of the Rockies.

Winner of the 2015 Rookie of the Year Award and 2016 National League MVP Award, Bryant hit 160 home runs and 465 RBI as a member of the Cubs before signing with Colorado ahead of the 2022 season.

“I thought that was great for Kris. Well deserved. He’s a big part of their history. You know, winning a World Series is special and Kris was a big part of that,” Bud Black said post-game. “They’re very loyal obviously to their Cubs, and they showed it with that applause.”

Noah Davis made his first start with Colorado since June 24, going five innings and giving up three runs. It’s his second appearance this week after a scoreless two-inning outing on Sunday at Coors Field. A two-run home run by Seiya Suzuki in the fourth did the most damage while a similar two-run blast by Jared Young against reliever Gavin Hollowell in the sixth extended the Cubs’ lead. 

Sep 22, 2023; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Colorado Rockies starting pitcher Noah Davis (63) throws the ball against the Chicago Cubs during the first inning at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

“That first inning, kind of the grind,” Davis said of his performance. “Way too many pitches. I was just trying to get through the first three outs kind of set me up for the rest of the game, but I feel like there was a decent response to be able to get back in the zone and have a clean second. Then ran into some trouble with that high cutter to Suzuki, maybe leaning on the cutter a little bit too much at that point.”

Colorado was only able to notch six hits against Jameson Taillon and a pair of relievers. And though Jones ended up 0-for-2 on the day at the plate with two walks, it actually could have been much worse.

“(Bryant) kind of just told me I’m probably gonna get roasted by the fans, I’m gonna get some beer poured on me and to be ready for it,” Jones shared. “He said he’ll be laughing.”

Diamond Details

Chicago would love a three-game sweep to help in their hunt for a postseason place as an NL Wild Card. Cubs have not been eliminated from winning the NL Central, but with an elimination number of just two games, they’d almost need to win their final eight games and hope the first-place Milwaukee Brewers lose nearly all their remaining nine games. 

Neither the Cubs nor the Rockies have completed a three-game sweep in the two season-series between the clubs since Sept. 25-27, 2012. Those 20 series make for the second-longest streak all-time without a sweep topped only by the 29-consecutive series between the New York Mets and San Diego Padres from 2008-2023.

  • Brendan Rodgers went 1-for-3 to extend his hitting streak to eight games. He’s batting .433 (13-for-30) with a double, home run and 4 RBI during the stretch.

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