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#pounditTuesday, September 29, 2020

Christian Yelich

Brewers manager has funny comment about gum being key to Christian Yelich home run

Christian Yelich

Brewers manager Craig Counsell had a funny comment about some chewing gum helping Christian Yelich at the plate.

Yelich has struggled this season but slugged a 3-run home run off Chicago Cubs starter Alec Mills in the sixth inning on Friday. Yelich, who was serving as Milwaukee’s designated hitter in the game, struck out in his other three at-bats. He decided to pop in some gum before his at-bat in the sixth to loosen up mentally, and it worked.

“I’m gonna put gum in my mouth and chew that and not think about how s—ty my at bats have been…so I stopped thinking about it, and then I swung cause I hadn’t swung all night so I swung, and then change up, and homer,” Yelich said of his at-bats.

Counsell was asked about the gum after the game and had a funny joke.

Though the gum worked for that at-bat, Yelich struck out in the eighth inning. He said after the game that he was no longer going to use the gum as a good-luck charm since it failed him in his next at-bat.

“The gum’s out, but it was a nice go-to. Will have to think of something else tomorrow,” Yelich said.

Maybe Counsell will have the analytics team working hard on a possible substitute.

The Brewers won the game 4-3 to drop the Cubs to 13-4. Despite his putrid start, Yelich has four home runs since August 6.

Christian Yelich relieved after ‘luckiest home run in baseball history’

Christian Yelich

Christian Yelich had some self-deprecating humor on Thursday after getting a much-needed big hit.

Yelich entered the Milwaukee Brewers’ game against the Chicago White Sox with only three hits and 16 strikeouts in eight games this season. In the top of the fifth inning, he hit a fly ball to left field that bounced in fair territory and allowed him to get his first career inside-the-park home run.

The homer tied the game and was part of a nice effort for Yelich, who walked four times and scored three runs.

After the game, Yelich called the homer the “luckiest in baseball history” and said he had been “awful” all year.

He’s been so bad that all it took was one hit to get him over .100 for the season. The 2018 NL MVP is now batting .111/.256/.306 this season. Sometimes all it takes is one lucky shot like that to turn things around. Maybe he could use another visit with the home run king too.

Christian Yelich sends heartfelt message to teammate Lorenzo Cain

Christian Yelich

Christian Yelich sent a heartfelt message of support to teammate Lorenzo Cain on Saturday night.

Cain told the Milwaukee Brewers that he was opting out of the remainder of the MLB season, the team announced on Saturday. Yelich, who is the star of the Brewers, sent a message of support to Cain on Instagram.

View this post on Instagram

My Guy. We got your back. All love

A post shared by Christian Yelich (@christianyelich) on

Yelich is doing his best to show team leadership by standing behind his teammate with that Instagram post.

Cain had played in five games for Milwaukee, batting .333 on the season. He did not play on Wednesday, and then Friday and Saturday’s games were postponed after St. Louis Cardinals players tested positive for the coronavirus. Yelich is off to a 1-for-27 (.037) to start the season.

Christian Yelich shares great message with high school seniors

Christian Yelich cap

Across the county, spring sports athletes have seen their seasons canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic. That’s upsetting, but one star MLB player is trying to ease the pain a bit at his old high school.

Milwaukee Brewers star Christian Yelich sent out an inspiring message to senior baseball players at Westlake High School in Westlake Village, Ca. Yelich himself went to school there, and his message might help ease the pain for some seniors who didn’t get to play this year.

We have seen before that Yelich does not forget where he came from. His high school played a key role in his development, so this is him paying that back a bit. There’s no doubt that the senior class at Westlake must appreciate getting a message from one of the best baseball players in the league right now offering them a bit of motivation and reassurance, and it’s a cool thing for him to have done.

Video: Christian Yelich has emotional reaction after signing long-term contract

Christian Yelich cap

Christian Yelich is a very wealthy man, signing a nine-year deal worth $215 million to remain with the Milwaukee Brewers through 2028.

One doesn’t get to that point without a lot of support, and Yelich gave an emotional answer when asked who he thought of when signing a deal like this. Beyond his parents and family, he also cited his coaches, and grew a little emotional when reminiscing about the people who had put his career over theirs at various points.

It’s easy for a lot of people to see someone sign a contract like Yelich’s and lose touch of how much work has been put in just to get to that point. Yelich was a highly-touted prospect and a good MLB player, but even as late as his trade to Milwaukee, he would never have been viewed as a $200 million player. Even now, he uses his doubters to motivate him. It seems like the Brewers have made a good bet extending him.

Christian Yelich to get $200 million contract extension from Brewers

Christian Yelich cap

The Milwaukee Brewers aren’t letting their superstar outfielder get away anytime soon.

According to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, the Brewers are closing in on a massive contract extension with outfielder Christian Yelich. The deal is believed to be for seven years and over $200 million.

Yelich would currently be under contract through 2021, with a club option for 2022. The new extension will give him a massive raise over the $12.5 million he was poised to make in 2020.

Under the reported terms, Yelich would be making $30-$35 million annually, putting him in the same neighborhood as Mike Trout’s record-breaking deal.

Yelich hit .329 last season with 44 home runs in just 130 games. He led the National League in batting average, OBP, and slugging percentage. He finished second in NL MVP voting a year after winning the award.

Video: Pat Connaughton hops Christian Yelich on ‘White Men Can’t Jump’ dunk

Pat Connaughton collaborated with Christian Yelich on a great dunk Saturday night that was aided by a creative costume.

Connaughton, who plays for the Milwaukee Bucks, asked the Brewers star to help him out by holding the ball up for Connaughton to grab and slam home. Connaughton delivered perfectly on the dunk. Take a look at the video:

The best part was Connaughton dressed up as Billy Hoyle from “White Men Can’t Jump.”

Connaughton only got 45 out of 50 on his score for his first dunk, leaving many to think he got robbed. He got a perfect 50 score on his next dunk, but wound up a point behind Derrick Jones Jr. and was cut from the final.

Josh Donaldson humorously enters Christian Yelich-Yu Darvish beef

Josh Donaldson

The sudden Twitter beef between Christian Yelich and Yu Darvish is, at the very least, entertaining to the rest of baseball.

Yelich reacted strongly to suggestions that he may have been stealing signs against Yu Darvish in a 2019 game between the Milwaukee Brewers and Chicago Cubs. The post spread across Twitter quickly, with much attention being devoted to Yelich’s remark to Darvish that “nobody needs help facing you.”

One figure seemed to disagree. Enter Josh Donaldson, who was open to a little help against Darvish.

Donaldson is a miserable 4-for-22 lifetime against Darvish, with nothing but singles. That’s a sharp contrast with Yelich, who’s 4-for-11 with two home runs off the Cubs starter.

Donaldson, who spent 2019 with the Atlanta Braves, is currently a sought-after free agent. One rumor has him staying in the NL, so he might want to get those tips from Yelich as soon as possible.

Christian Yelich slams Yu Darvish over Brewers sign stealing allegation

Christian Yelich

After widespread stories about the Houston Astros’ electronic sign stealing operation dominated the news this week, it seems plenty of people are looking for evidence that other teams may have been up to shady business as well.

One of the teams named as potentially operating such an operation was the Milwaukee Brewers. This allegation seemingly started with St. Louis Cardinals beat writer Jeff Jones, who offered no evidence aside from stating that “multiple players” identified Milwaukee as an “egregious” offender. What followed was a Twitter thread from Bleacher Nation, a pro-Chicago Cubs site that insinuated that Christian Yelich was looking to the Brewers’ bullpen in one instance to get some sort of signal while facing Cubs pitcher Yu Darvish.

Here’s a look at that video.

Darvish took note of the thread, stating that he had, in fact, stepped off the rubber in that instance because he saw Yelich’s eyes move. However, Darvish added in a follow-up tweet that his actions did not indicate there was any evidence that the Brewers were stealing signs.

The first tweet got the attention of Yelich, who aggressively replied to Darvish on Twitter, defending himself.

That’s quite the response. And Yelich’s remark that “nobody needs help facing you” seems to imply that he doesn’t think much of Darvish’s ability to get people out. Yelich is obviously going to take offense at the implication that he’s been cheating, but the defensiveness and aggressiveness of the response is somewhat surprising. Darvish made no direct allegation that Yelich or anyone else was stealing signs, though perhaps Yelich disliked that Darvish was amplifying such claims by merely acknowledging and responding to them.

Darvish has been one of the opponents whose narrative is central to the Astros’ scandal, given he has raised questions regarding what was going on in Game 7 of the 2017 World Series. Care should be exercised in alleging wrongdoing by any opponent — charges of electronic sign-stealing are serious. Despite this, Yelich’s response still seems a little bit over-the-top.

Christian Yelich suggests Kirk Gibson moment unlikely if Brewers make World Series

Christian Yelich

Christian Yelich fractured his right kneecap in the midst of the pennant race in September, ruling him out for the rest of the season. While he is no longer using crutches, the Milwaukee Brewers outfielder suggested that even a World Series return wouldn’t be highly likely.

Yelich refused to shut the door Tuesday on potentially hitting in the World Series, but admitted that there was a long way to go before it was possible and that as of today, he couldn’t even limp around the bases like Kirk Gibson dramatically did in the 1988 World Series.

The Brewers went on a tear without Yelich, and he even joined the team to celebrate despite his injury. However, that appears to be about all he can do. He’s certainly eager to play, and you can understand why he wouldn’t want to rule himself out, but even he didn’t sound optimistic. The Brewers would have to get there in the first place, and they need to win a Wild Card game and two postseason series before they can even consider it.