Christian Yelich hits when he wants. And on Wednesday night, Yelich made history.
As of this writing, the Milwaukee Brewers are 74-60 and five games out of first in the NL Central. But more importantly, they currently hold a one-game lead over the Colorado Rockies for the second wild card spot. That’s what they’re fighting for now. And Yelich is as big a reason as any as to why the Brewers are where they are.
Coming over in a trade from the Miami Marlins this past winter, Yelich is experiencing perhaps the best season of his career so far. After Wednesday’s six-hit cycle, he’s now slashing .319/.380/.563 on the season. His strikeout rate is up slightly from last season while his walk rate is down, but he has a career-high 26 home runs (and counting). According to Fangraphs, Yelich has an fWAR of 4.6 — his career-high currently stands at 5.3 (2016).
And maybe the best is yet to come. After all, Yelich is only 26 years old. He doesn’t turn 27 until December. Plus, the Brewers have him under contract through 2021 (with an option for 2022). At this rate, there’s no doubting Yelich will be in Milwaukee for the duration of his contract.
Plus, Milwaukee ended up needing all six of their superstar’s hits last night. Here’s out his ABs broke down:
- infield single
- two-run home run
- infield single
His triple in the seventh would tie the game at 10-10 before a Mike Moustakas HR in the eighth gave the Brewers an 11-10 lead. But the madness didn’t stop there, as a wild pitch saw Billy Hamilton score the tying run in the bottom half of the eighth. Jesus Aguilar got home run No. 30 to give Milwaukee a 12-11 before an Eric Kratz single provided Milwaukee with a much-needed insurance run.
The Brewers ultimately won 13-12, and it all comes back to Yelich.
In his sixth season, Yelich is hitting the ball harder than ever (48.2%). That’s up over 10% from his previous career-high rate. His wRC+ (149) is also by far his best mark to date.
And the Brewers are going to need every bit of his production down the stretch.