MILWAUKEE — On May 11 in Cincinnati, Christian Yelich was on his way to recording his third career cycle, and he was driving the ball with authority as he approached the milestone. He and the Brewers both hoped that it was just the beginning of an extended run of good fortune for him. After a month has passed, it is abundantly clear that it has not yet arrived.
As a result, the Brewers decided to experiment with a new strategy during their game against the Phillies at American Family Field on Wednesday. Yelich is now batting first after manager Craig Counsell moved him up there.
"We're going in a different direction," Counsell said.
The preliminary findings revealed no significant differences. During a losing streak that extended to five games, the Brewers were held scoreless for the third time, this time suffering a 10-0 defeat. Yelich had one of the team's four singles and was the only Brewers runner to advance into scoring position all night when he stole second base in the sixth inning. Yelich finished the game with a batting average of 1-for-4.
Before Luis Uras struck out to end the sixth inning, Yelich had been in the batter's box for two minutes and 11 seconds.
According to Counsell, "we've got a lineup full of guys who are not feeling great at the plate and are not swinging it well." We scored runs at a pretty good clip for a significant portion of the season, so at this point all we need to do is ride out the storm, maintain our position in the battle, and keep going. It is going to evolve.
In the grand scheme of things, Yelich's promotion to the second spot in the lineup was an opportunity to experiment with something a little bit different as he continues his long search for the level of production he had in 2018–19. This was before the fractured kneecap, before the mega contract extension, before the pandemic, before the back trouble, and before the prolonged slump.
Yelich, who is currently hitting, remarked that it had been challenging.
117th place out of 162 qualifying hitters with a wRC+ of 93 and a batting average of 224 with five home runs in 235 at-bats. He entered the day with those statistics. "A good number of late nights. However, nobody is going out there with the intention of playing poorly. Everyone is putting forth their maximum effort. Baseball is a sport in which you can put in as much effort as you see fit, stay up as late as you see fit, watch as much video as you see fit, and put in as much effort in the cage as you see fit, and none of these things will guarantee you anything once the game begins. It has been a really trying and lengthy stretch for me, but you just have to keep plugging away at it to get through it. If you give up working, you can be certain that you will perform poorly in the future. If you keep at it, there is a possibility that things will turn out better in the end.
"You just need to train your brain to ignore the background noise. I am aware of the disappointment that you have in both myself and in the way that our offence has performed this year.
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