Bryant talks hitting strategy: 'This is the hardest game in the world'
Mitchell Leff / Getty Images Sport / Getty

If you've ever questioned how hard it is to hit a baseball, just ask Chicago Cubs third baseman and former National League MVP Kris Bryant.

Bryant was one of seven victims to strike out against Philadelphia Phillies right-hander Aaron Nola on Wednesday, and he looked particularly bad when he swung at a curveball way outside the zone.


The third baseman addressed that at-bat and others that are similar to it during a detailed interview with The Athletic's Sahadev Sharma.

Bryant discussed a pitcher's strategy of "tunneling," with which they attempt to keep hitters guessing about where pitches will ultimately end up.

"You hear a lot of pitchers talk about tunneling now," Bryant said. "Just throwing certain pitches off of the previous pitch. He throws a backdoor two-seam and it looks like it's way over there and it comes back. Then he throws the same exact pitch in the same exact plane and it goes the other way. Sometimes you're just up there and you're like, 'Man, I gotta tip my hat to that.' He completely executed his plan and what he wanted to do."

Bryant also admitted that he's been prone to yell at his television when he sees a batter swing at an egregious pitch, only to catch himself seconds later, so he empathizes with fans who get upset by ugly swings.

"Any time you swing at one way out of the zone, you're like, 'Gosh, what am I doing? What am I swinging at? Why'd I swing at that? Why'd I let myself swing at that?'" Bryant said. "But then I remember what I first told you, he just threw a nasty two-seam pitch off of that. You saw the overlay there. The ball came out the same way and one went this way and the other went that. What am I going to do? This is the hardest game in the world.

"It's important for me to remember how hard this game is. It's funny, I had an autograph signing today. I was just signing a baseball and thinking, 'How the heck do we hit this ball? Look how small this thing is and they throw it with movement.' That’s one of those moments where I remember how hard this game is and just to keep riding the waves, keep going with it, the highs and lows, the good times make up for the bad times. All that."

The Cubs slugger did get his revenge against Nola later in the game, though, when he took the right-hander deep.

Bryant is batting .290/.391/.537 with 25 home runs this season and has struck out in only 21.1 percent of his plate appearances.

Bryant talks hitting strategy: 'This is the hardest game in the world'
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