CINCINNATI -- Pregame conversation in the Chicago Cubs' clubhouse before Tuesday's game against the Cincinnati Reds alternated between adulation for Kris Bryant's historic night on Monday and whether he should have taken a curtain call in an opponent's ballpark.
After going 5-for-5 with three home runs and two doubles, a large contingent of Cubs fans sitting behind the visiting dugout in Cincinnati stayed on their feet waiting for Bryant to emerge. He never did, later saying he's not that type of player. Most of his teammates agreed -- though mostly after the fact. At the time some were urging him on.
Jason Heyward: "I understand why he didn't. The only reason I thought maybe he should is it's not going to happen every day and when you talk about performances like that they should be recognized. Like throwing a no-hitter, the opposing fans applaud that. They may not be happy but they recognize it. I was for it."
Playing with Bryant for the first time this season, Heyward has been impressed by the second-year player.
"He has a good approach to the game every day," Heyward said. "He wants to get better and be himself as well. I told him in spring training. 'I don't see a sophomore slump because your approach is such a great approach. You're not trying to do too much.'"
Addison Russell: "I was waiting to see what he was going to do. Kris being a humble guy, I don't think he was going to do that [curtain call]. I think I would have done the same thing he did. It's a respect factor."
Russell played on the same Arizona Fall league team with Bryant in 2013. He has seen him do some special things for a long time. Was three home runs a surprise?
"How far they went," Russell answered with a smile. "Yeah. That does still surprise me.
"He's getting even better and better and better. He put on a show yesterday [Monday]."
Joel Peralta: "There were so many Cubs fans shouting for me. It made me feel so good, so I think he could have given a little tip of the cap. So many Cubs fans here. That would have been OK. Not come all the way out of the dugout but stick his head out."
Peralta has been impressed by Bryant from afar and the pitcher's first game with the Cubs will always be remembered for the hitter's big night.
"Oh my god, I was thinking I'm so glad I'm on this side. He's special. He doesn't have many holes."
John Lackey: "That's the first time I've ever seen the opportunity for a road curtain call. I would probably go with not doing it on the road just out of respect for the other organization but it was cool as hell by our fans."
Lackey came from St. Louis where his job last year was to stop Bryant at the plate. Not anymore.
"I told him how I tried to get him out last year and he listens and takes it in and makes adjustments," Lackey said. "He's doing a great job of making adjustments. I hope he never makes another out."
Justin Grimm: "I don't know about a curtain call, but I'm surprised I didn't see a ton of hats on the field for the hat trick of home runs."
So what was the bullpen doing as Bryant came to bat each time?
"I didn't have time to get to the edge of my seat," Grimm said with a laugh. "They left pretty quickly. We were looking at each other like, 'Are you kidding me?'"
Albert Almora: "It felt like the Cincinnati fans wanted a curtain call. Everybody was like, 'Dude that's never happened. Embrace that.' And he was like, 'That's not my place.' I applaud him for that. We all know he's a great baseball player, but it's what's off the field that really matters to me."
Almora recalls getting to know Bryant during their time in the Fall League in 2013.
"He's one of my best friends on this team. No matter how good he is on the field he'll never change.
"The way he grinds every day. When things aren't going his way he comes in and has a great attitude and makes his adjustments. He's amazing. I felt like in his last at-bat he was going to do something special for sure. When that last one went up into the air, and out, I went nuts."