Magglio Ordonez told Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com that he considered retiring around midseason after hitting .217 in the first half while struggling through soreness in his surgically repaired ankle.
“I almost hung it up,” Ordonez said. “When I was playing, I didn’t enjoy the game and I play with my heart.”
Ordonez also plays with his bat and he didn’t exactly thrive in the second half, hitting .292 with two homers and a measly .362 slugging percentage. However, he hit very well in September and is now playing every day in the playoffs thanks to Brennan Boesch’s thumb injury.
Ordonez compared himself to a car, saying “when you have a flat tire it’s hard for it to run” but “now the tire has a lot of air in it.” He earned $10 million this season while missing 70 games and hitting just .255 with a .634 OPS, but Ordonez is batting sixth tonight against the Yankees after going 3-for-3 in Game 2.
Christian Yelich simply can’t be stopped. The Brewers outfielder (and defending NL MVP) entered Saturday’s game with a league-leading 11 home runs after swatting two against the Dodgers on Friday night, then clubbed another two homers in the first six innings of Saturday’s game.
The first came on a 2-1 pitch from the Dodgers’ Hyun-Jin Ryu, who lobbed a changeup toward the bottom of the strike zone before it was lifted up and out to center field for a solo home run in the third inning.
While Chase Anderson and Alex Claudio held down the fort against the Dodgers’ lineup, Yelich prepared for his second blast in the sixth inning — this one a 421-foot double-decker on a first-pitch curveball from Ryu.
Yelich’s 13 home runs not only gave him a stronger grip on the league’s leaderboard, but helped him tie yet another franchise record, too. Per MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy, he’s tied with Prince Fielder for the most home runs hit by a Brewers player in a single month, and sits just one home run shy of tying Álex Rodríguez’s 2007 record for most home runs hit within any club’s first 22 games of the season.
It may be far too early to predict which players will finish first in the MVP races this fall, but there’s no denying Yelich has already set himself apart from the competition. Through Saturday’s performance, he’s batting .361/.459/.880 with a 1.329 OPS and MLB-best 31 RBI across 98 PA so far.