How they won: Breaking down Kris Bryant's big hit

The Chicago Cubs went into the All-Star Break on a winning note because their MVP candidate did an MVP-like thing in the eighth inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Kris Bryant smacked the game-winning hit against lefty Tony Watson, taking an inside fastball and driving it to left center.

Bryant has improved in a lot of things this year; one of note involves mashing inside pitches from lefties. It’s one a lefty should probably never throw him. In fact, Watson was lucky the damage wasn’t worse.

Bryant is 10-for-21 with six home runs, three doubles and now one single on the 100 inside fastballs he has seen from lefties this season. That’s an otherworldly 1.476 slugging percentage, up from .625 last season.

Bryant’s case

Bryant’s MVP case heading into the break is built around his power and his all-around game. His 25 home runs lead the National League and are one shy of his 2015 total (in 65 fewer games).

His 4.4 wins above replacement are the most in the National League among position players and trail only Clayton Kershaw overall.

Bryant’s one weakness is his lack of big hits, though Sunday’s performance helped in that regard. It was his second go-ahead hit in the eighth inning or later this season. He’s now hitting .214 in the seventh inning or later with the score within two runs. That ranks 98th among the 150 hitters with the most at-bats in those situations.