Milwaukee Brewers: Can Christian Yelich Carry This Team to the Postseason?
By Matt Yeazel
Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Christian Yelich is having an incredible first season in a Brewer uniform, and he is on a red hot streak right now. This recent stretch has amplified the fact that Yelich has been carrying this team for the most part as of late, but can this success continue?
There have been plenty of offensive contributors to the Milwaukee Brewers lineup this season, and it’s not like Christian Yelich has done everything by himself, but in general, the offense has ran off of his success. In recent weeks, the Brewers pitching staff has really struggled, and the Trade Deadline strategy of out-scoring teams rather than getting pitching help hasn’t exactly worked out.
With the pitching staff struggling so much, and the season getting down to crunch time, the offense has needed to step up. But other than Yelich and Cain, the majority of these hitters have been inconsistent, and either all up or all down.
But on Wednesday, Yelich took over, going 6-6 while hitting for the cycle, and also got plenty of necessary help from home runs by Mike Moustakas, Jonathan Schoop, and Jesus Aguilar.
That’s just it. The phrase “carrying the team” is used quite a bit in sports. In baseball though, if there is literally one player in a lineup that is doing all the work, that team will not win a lot of games.
The Brewers do have a deep offense when right, the problem is that they are very strikeout prone, and tend to have extreme off nights, whereas Yelich, as well as Cain, tend to do productive things every time they step up to the plate.
Can Christian Yelich Carry This Team?
So the question is, is Christian Yelich, as the star of this team, capable of leading them to the playoffs? By himself, no he is not, and neither is anybody else in this league. That is what can be worrisome about the Brewers. If there is a game late in September that the Brewers have to win, and all the power hitters get strikeout prone in that game, the offense, which looks very good on paper, produces very little or no results.
While Yelich and Cain are fantastic hitters, they are not power first guys, meaning the Brewers are probably not going to win games because of a home run off the bat of one of those two. Milwaukee’s offense is at it’s best when those two are getting on in front of the power hitters and scoring a ton of runs.
The Power Ability
Yelich can obviously hit the ball out of the ballpark himself too. He’s done a lot, mostly after the All Star Break, but again, that’s not the primary part of his game. Yelich has 11 home runs in the month of August alone.
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Cain has only nine home runs on the season, but he has been one of the most valuable players in baseball this season, and the Brewers wouldn’t be where they are without him. But he will need his teammates below him in the lineup to step up and drive him home in clutch situations.
Boosting The Rest Of The Team
In terms of the entire team in general, the area that really needs to step up is the pitching. The offense has been up and down, but they’ll more than likely do their job when needed. The defense has been pretty solid, especially in the outfield. Now it’s time for the pitching staff to step up and prove David Stearns right for having faith in them.
Many Brewer fans, understandably so, regret that the Crew didn’t add a starting pitcher at the trade deadline that has now passed. What they have is what you get. Jhoulys Chacin has been great of late, and he is someone who could be trusted in a Wild Card game situation as of now, but past him, trusting any guy in the rotation is risky.
It’s not just the rotation either, the bullpen has suddenly become one of the Brewers biggest issues after being their biggest strength earlier this season. The Brewers can generally trust Hader and Jeffress, but even they have been rocky as of late. However past them, nobody is pitching well right now, and they, along with the entire pitching staff, need to step up if this team wants to make and or do anything in the postseason.
Christian Yelich has been on fire, and has put a very up and down team on his back. It will be fun, and probably frustrating to watch this team through the remaining regular season schedule, but if Yelich continues his ways and his teammates step up and follow his lead, this team can do some special things this season.
The numbers for Yelich speak for themselves. Without him, the Brewers wouldn’t be where they are today.