Milwaukee Brewers’ Christian Yelich makes his case for NL MVP, hitting for the cycle for the second time in three weeks on Monday against the Cincinnati Reds.
The National League has a new MVP frontrunner and his name is Christian Yelich.
The 26-year-old Milwaukee Brewers outfielder hit for the cycle for the second time this season on Monday night, only adding to what has already been a career year.
Yelich singled up the middle in the first, hit a double down the right-field line in the third and hit a two-run homer off Cincinnati Reds starter Anthony DeSclafani in the fifth.
Then, in the bottom half of the sixth, Yelich tripled to center to drive in two runs, capping off a four-run inning as the Brewers beat the Reds 8-0.
It was the second time in three weeks Yelich has victimized the Reds. On Aug. 29, he also finished off a cycle with a triple, part of a 6-for-6 night at the plate.
He is only the third player since 1900 to complete a cycle twice in a season, joining Aaron Hill (2012) and Babe Herman (1931). He is the only one to do it against the same team.
"“Off the bat you’re kind of thinking, no way did that just happen,” he said. “I honestly don’t even know how to describe it or what that feels like. I don’t even know if it’s really set in yet. It’s definitely crazy. You’re trying to enjoy it as much as possible.”"
Yelich, acquired in a trade with the Miami Marlins in the offseason, has the Brewers in a comfortable spot to end a playoff drought that dates back to 2011. They currently hold a 3.5 game lead in the NL Wild Card race and are 2.5 back of the Chicago Cubs in the NL Central.
He tied Cincinnati’s Scooter Gennett in the NL batting race with a .318 average to go along with 31 home runs and 93 RBI. He leads the majors with a .355 average since the All-Star break and is second behind Khris Davis of Oakland in home runs with 20.
His previous career high in homers was 21 with the Marlins in 2016.
With just two weeks left in the 2018 campaign, Yelich deserves consideration alongside the likes of Chicago’s Javier Baez and Arizona’s Paul Goldschmidt for the NL’s Most Valuable Player.
Brewers manager Craig Counsell says it’s his ability to bounce back after a bad game that’s been vital to the team. On Sunday against the Pittsburgh Pirates, Yelich had his 30-game on-base streak come to an end. Counsell believes that only makes Yelich better the next day.
"“The impressive thing to me is a team holds him in check yesterday,” Counsell said, “and that seems to be a bad sign the next day for the other team.”"
Yelich finished the game 4-for-4 with four RBI. He’s been everything the Brewers hoped he would be when they traded for him and he should be making some room on his trophy case when the MVP award is given out.