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Beer brewers face key test – Keeping the playoff hopes alive without Yelich



Terrible news from Miami, where the Milwaukee Brewers defeated the Miami Marlins 4: 3, but after the game announced that Christian Yelich will miss the remainder of the season after a kneecap on a lazy ball in the first inning had broken. The freak injury was caused by a 1: 1 error committed by Elieser Hernandez that Yelich had contaminated at the top of his right knee. He slumped to the ground and lay there for a few minutes before running away on his own, but grimaced in pain as he retreated to the clubhouse.

It is a devastating injury to the Brewers who not only lose their best player. but a player who had the chance to win his second consecutive National League MVP award when Yelich's season ends, beating .329 / .429 / .671

with 44 homers and 30 stolen bases. His combination of punch, average punch and theft has made him one of the sport's most exciting players in the past two seasons, an obvious fan favorite in Milwaukee, but also one of the faces of the game as a superstar slugger.

The Brewers began the night before the Chicago Cubs with two games for second place with the wildcard and pushed over the winner run to ninth place. Trent Grisham, Yelich's successor in the lineup, contributed a key double. After Josh Hader was not available, Drew Pomeranz worked on his first turn on two hits at the bottom of the ninth field.

General Manager David Stearns commented after the game's devastating loss:

Lorenzo Cain also commented on the loss of his outfield comrade:

The Brewers are already playing with an injury-related lineup. Keston Hiura, second in the OPS team, has been out of the race since 30 August with a thigh strain. Mike Moustakas, who scored a bargain on Tuesday, only had seven appearances since August 26 for a wrist injury. Cain (knee) and Ryan Braun (back) injured themselves.

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Somehow, the Brewers have nevertheless won five games in a row – including the last three games of a four-game series against the Cubs – and eight of their last 10. There is not much Comfort here, but Yelich missed the time this year with recurring back problems and the Brewers are 10-7 if he does not start (11-7 if you count the win on Tuesday). The Brewers also have the easiest remaining schedule for the NL playoff contenders, with only one series left over against a playoff contender (this weekend in St. Louis). They have two more games in Miami and are getting ready for the Cardinals series with the Padres, Pirates, Reds and Rockies.

Nevertheless, a provisional list will be even more provisional now. Travis Shaw started in third base on Tuesday and hits .151. Cory Spangenberg started second and has a .273 OBP. Hernan Perez played shortstop and has a .276 OBP. Cain only hits .253 / .321 / .353. Without their MVP candidate and without Hiura and Moustakas, one has to wonder where the runs will come from. At least the Brewers have some depth in the outfield with Grisham – who scored .263 / .324 / .455 in 33 games – and Ben Gamel, but they will not come close to Yelich's production.

However, this Brewers team has found a way to overcome adversity. Last year they won their last seven and nine of their last ten games to tie the Cubs to the NL Central title, and then beat the Cubs in the tie-break game. This year they had to overcome the struggles and injuries in the rotation. Jhoulys Chacin, who started this tiebreaker game a year ago, moved from Staff Ace to release in late August with an ERA of 5.79. Brandon Woodruff, her best starter this season, has suffered a minor injury since 21 July. Corbin Burnes should be a key element of the rotation, but he is 1-5 with a 9.00 ERA. Then there's Jeremy Jeffress, an all-star of last season, who was recently fired as well.

Somehow the Brewers have prevailed and stayed in the playoff race. You will need Grisham or Braun or Eric Thames to play a role. You need Moustakas back as soon as possible. Manager Craig Counsell was reluctant not to use Hader on Tuesday after beating the Cubs on Saturday and Sunday, but he will probably have to ride the dominant left-hander a bit harder in the last two weeks.

On paper, the Brewers have little chance. They have scored more goals in the season, their best player has failed, they have made up ground and little time. But do not count them out:

Everything is said to happen in baseball.


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