June 30 shall henceforth be known as David Fry Day, in recognition of his admirable performance in the Cleveland Guardians’ 10-1 loss to the Chicago Cubs.
Fry, making his first start in left field, announced his presence to the Wrigley Field crowd in the second inning with a sliding grab in foul territory to retire Cody Bellinger on an inning-ending foul-out. Speaking as someone who was in the stands for this game, I can tell you that this play left most of the crowd in disbelief, wondering, “Who the heck was that?”
In the fourth inning, amid Cal Quantrill’s meltdown on the mound, Fry was called into action once again, like a ray of sunshine bursting through dark clouds. After Quantrill had surrendered a two-run triple to Jared Young to extend the Cubs’ lead to 4-0, Nick Madrigal lined out to left field, where Fry fired a laser to home plate to hold the runner at third base. That same inning, this time with Xzavion Curry pitching, Christopher Morel launched a ball to the ivory in left field, where a back-pedaling Fry made the grab to limit Chicago to one run on a sac fly.
The Cubs led 6-0 after the sac fly, but there was a palpable unease across the stadium, as fans began to realize that while the Guardians may have thrown in the towel, David Fry had not.
The next very inning, as Chicago starting pitcher Justin Steele sought to build on four innings of no-hit ball, Fry crashed the party with a sharp grounder that ate up Dansby Swanson at shortstop for Cleveland’s first hit of the game. After the Cubs made it 9-0 in the sixth inning thanks to a pair of homers off Curry, the Guardians once again looked to Fry to respond and he delivered the counter-punch, drawing a leadoff walk to start the next frame.
But Fry was saving the pièce de résistance for the eighth inning. Trailing 10-0, manager Terry Francona handed him the ball and sent him to the mound. Fry threw eight sliders, averaging 53 mph, and retired all three batters he faced for a scoreless inning of relief.
Will Brennan, presumably inspired by Fry’s play, hit a solo home run in the ninth inning to ruin the shutout and prove to Fry that his efforts were not in vain.
David Fry. What a guy.