Christian Yelich is Scuffling, and it’s Hurting the Brewers Playoff Hopes

On Tuesday evening, Milwaukee Brewers had runners on the corners, down a run with two outs in the bottom of the eighth inning and Christian Yelich at the plate. Yelich should have just left his bat in the dugout. He watched his way to a full count before striking out looking. The Brewers eventually lost to the White Sox, 3-2.

The former MVP has struggled in the batter’s box to start the 2020 season. Through his first eight games, he is 3-for-34 with two runs, a home run, three runs batted in, three walks, and 16 strikeouts. His team currently has a 3-5 record and desperately needs him to be his MVP self to stay in playoff contention.

Currently, he is striking out just above 43 percent every time he steps to the plate. His career-high is 24 percent. He’s also had three games with three strikeouts in just eight games. He had just six such games last season but played 130 games.

For a player batting second and third in the lineup, his production has not been satisfactory for the Brewers to have a chance in the National League Central. If there was ever a time to not struggle like he has been, it is now. This season is fast and will leave you behind if the player can’t keep up.

Yelich, so far, looks lost at the plate. He is giving up pitches that pitchers used to be afraid to throw to him. Instead of taking those pitchers deep for extra bases, he was getting them called for strikes and even finishing at-bat with strikeouts.

In the last few seasons, no matter the situation, Yelich seemed to always find a way to capitalize on them and produce runs. For his career, he’s hitting .296 with a .395 on-base percentage and 355 runs batted in when runners are in scoring position. He has yet to come up clutch in 2020. In 12 at-bats with runners in scoring positions, he’s hitless with seven strikeouts. He’s already left 28 teammates on base this season.

To add insult to injury, the Chicago White Sox on Monday decided to intentionally load the bases just to face Yelich. The result: a backward “K.”

Manager Craig Counsell does not want to make too many changes with Christian Yelich. Instead, he has voiced how great of a player Yelich is and just wants to support him through the slump.

Counsell added, “He’s probably worked as hard as you can want him to work. He shouldn’t work any harder. That’s not going to solve it. He’s working as hard as he can. He just hasn’t found it yet.”

It is up to Yelich to turn his slump around.

The Milwaukee Brewers have now have completed 13 percent of their regular-season games this season. They also just saw All-Star Lorenzo Cain opt-out of this season. Their 3.75 runs per game are not going to cut it. They are counting on Christian Yelich to do a 180 and find his way out of his slump before it’s too late.

 


Feature Photo: GENE J. PUSKAR, ASSOCIATED PRESS


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Xavier Sanchez

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