Kyle Lohse left his start against the Cubs on Wednesday after he aggravated a right ankle sprain and Adam McCalvy of MLB.com reports that the Brewers will skip his next turn in the rotation in order to give him some rest.
Lohse originally injured the ankle on August 2 against the Cardinals. He has made two starts since, but the discomfort has lingered. With scheduled off-days next Monday and Thursday, the Brewers have the luxury of giving him a break without having to add another starter. Matt Garza is also sidelined right now with a rib cage strain and just resumed playing catch yesterday. Fortunately, Mike Fiers has filled in brilliantly by allowing one run in 14 innings over his first two starts. He struck out 14 batters Thursday against the Cubs.
Lohse, 35, has posted a 3.49 ERA and 114/34 K/BB ratio over 159 2/3 innings this season. The Brewers came back to beat the Dodgers 6-3 last night and currently sit at 68-55 on the year, two games ahead of the Cardinals and 3 1/2 games ahead of the Pirates in the National League Central.
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.