Christian Yelich left tonight’s game with a fractured right knee cap. He will miss the remainder of the season.— Milwaukee Brewers (@Brewers) September 11, 2019
Probably the worst news that a hot & surging team could have while contending for a spot in the postseason, as Christian Yelich’s season is officially over, as declared by the Milwaukee Brewers medical staff with a fractured right knee cap. Yelich suffered the injury in his first at-bat against Tuesday evening’s matchup down in Miami, against the Marlins. The Brewers did come up with a 4-3 victory this evening, extending their win streak to 5 games and keeping the pressure on the Chicago Cubs, who hold down the last Wild Card spot by two games. The Brewers are also missing starting pitcher phenom Brandon Woodruff, who still is recovering from his oblique injury and could be featured in a bullpen role, though at this point, he may be saved for 2020.
At a time like this, a majority of those who still follow the team this late into the season would go into hibernation mode, like most Detroit Tigers fans have. I mean, how does the team replace the leadership and the production that Yelich brings on an everyday – every game basis? Again, Yelich was having another great season, leading almost every offensive category across the game of baseball in the National League. In a case of arguing who the NL MVP should be, one should consider what an individual player can do for his team, both offensively and defensively. On some nights, you could see Yelich saving a fly ball from falling short in the outfield, or you could find him at bat with two-outs in the night, sealing a win for his team.
"It's the best game I've ever seen Yelich have." – Craig Counsell pic.twitter.com/QRl0MI5Mti— MLB (@MLB) September 8, 2019
I don’t want to be one of those fans. A little insight from John “Bluto” Blutarsky, the star from the 1978 comedy film, Animal House.
Someone is going to step up. Who will that be? It’s the perfect opportunity to see what a guy like Ben Gamel could bring to the team. I’ve always been a fan of Ben Gamel’s game this season – where he does lack the offensive power that Domingo Santana had from last year, he does play great out in the field. Maybe it’s Travis Shaw, who has struggled tremendously at the plate this year, and this is his shot to shine. Maybe we see catcher Yasmani Grandal take over as the leader of the team – his season has been worthy of a lucrative contract next season, and his WAR ranks second on the team. Or it could be the pitching staff, I mean, after all, with an extended roster for the month of September, there are tons of opportunities for those to prove their stuff. Maybe my hero, utility stud Hernan Perez comes up with key at-bats in the clutch.
I’m not ready to give up. The Brewers are just a couple games back, still with a schedule heavily in their favor (see below). They still have a couple games with the Marlins in Miami before finishing out the road trip with three in St. Louis. A look at those still in contention both in the NL Central & the NL Wild Card:
STL (Division Leader): @COL(2), MIL(3), WSH(3), @CHC(4), @ARZ(3), CHC(3)
CHC (2nd Wild Card Spot): @SD(2), PIT(3), CIN(3), STL(4), @PIT(3), @STL(3)
MIL (2 GB): @MIA(2), @STL(3), SD(4), PIT(3), @CIN(3), @COL(3)
PHI (2.5 GB): ATL(2), BOS(2), @ATL(3), @CLE(3), @WSH(5), MIA(3)
ARZ (3 GB): @NYM(2), CIN(3), MIA(3), @SD(3), STL(3), SD(3)
After tonight’s game, the Brewers have a 27.6% chance at making it to the postseason, according to FanGraphs. Their schedule following the road trip to Miami & St. Louis are all against teams out of contention. Let’s allow for our young players to put on a show – after all, the San Antonio Missions, where a good majority of these young players played a majority of the season, achieved great success.
Let’s just enjoy the show, Brewer fans.
You can follow my Brewers fandom & sports intellect on Twitter: @WGLarson