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Christian Yelich hits for cycle against Reds again

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Brewers outfielder Christian Yelich hit for the cycle for the second time this season, helping his team earn an 8-0 victory over the Reds on Monday night.

Yelich singled in the first inning, doubled in the third, hit a two-run home run in the fifth, and completed the cycle with a two-run triple in the sixth.

Yelich’s last cycle was quite recent, occurring on August 29 against… the Reds. He is the fifth player to hit for the cycle twice in the same season and the first in baseball history to do it twice in the same season against the same team. Those five players, along with Yelich, are Aaron Hill (2012 Diamondbacks), Babe Herman (1931 Brooklyn Dodgers), Tip O’Neill (1887 St. Louis Browns), and Long John Reilly (1883 Cincinnati Red Stockings), according to MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy.

Yelich’s cycle is the third this season. Along with his two, Mookie Betts also completed the cycle on August 9 against the Blue Jays.

On the season, Yelich is now hitting .318/.385/.570 with 31 home runs, 93 RBI, 102 runs scored, and 19 stolen bases in 597 plate appearances. His torrid second half has certainly put him into the NL MVP conversation.

With the win on Monday, the Brewers trail the Cubs by two games in the NL Central. As of this writing, the Cubs are in a scoreless tie with the D-Backs. The Brewers hold a 3.5-game lead over the Dodgers and Cardinals for the first of two Wild Card slots.

Rob Manfred calls Astros sign-stealing investigation “most thorough” MLB investigation ever

Associated Press
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SAN DIEGO — Commissioner Rob Manfred was asked today about the status of the investigation into the Houston Astros’ sign-stealing scandal. Manfred said “I think that this is probably the most thorough investigation that the Commissioner’s office has ever undertaken.”

I would assume that construction excludes the Mitchell Report, which was undertaken by an outside party, but I guess it’s still quite a claim.

Manfred said that Major League Baseball has interviewed “nearly 60 witnesses” and has reviewed 76,000 e-mails plus a “trove of instant messages.” He said that they are not done, however, and that the review so far has, “caused us to conclude that we have to do some follow-up interviewing.” He said he cannot predict how long the investigation will take, but “it is my hope to conclude the investigation just as promptly as possible.”

Manfred was asked about the sort of discipline he and his office were contemplating but said, “at this point in the investigation it would be wholly inappropriate for me to speculate” about what discipline was in play.

The investigation comes in the wake of the November 12 report in The Athletic about the Astros’ sign-stealing operation, which allegedly involved use of center field video cameras and the relaying of pitch selection to batters. Former Astros pitcher Mike Fiers confirmed the scheme to The Athletic and at least three other Astros employees confirmed it as well.

In the wake of that initial report, video and audio emerged which appeared to confirm the sign-stealing and emails from an Astros executive to scouts, asking them to use cameras and/or binoculars in an effort to steal signs have been uncovered. Major League Baseball has vowed serious punishment for Astros executives, coaches and employees who were involved in orchestrating the scheme and to any players or officials who are found to be untruthful with MLB officials in the course of the investigation.

Initially, Major League Baseball said its investigation would be a wide-ranging one, including multiple teams. Soon after that, however, Manfred controversially backtracked on that, saying instead that the probe would focus only on the Astros. Which, to be sure, is the club against whom current allegations have been lodged and whom many around the game suspect to be the worst offenders. As we have noted, however, it’s highly unreasonable to assume that the Astros are alone in perpetrating a sophisticated sign-stealing operation, as their scheme was allegedly imported by a player who learned it while playing elsewhere.

Either way, it sounds like MLB has a lot on its plate with this. When we know something, you’ll know something.