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.

Phillies’ Bryce Harper to miss start of season after elbow surgery

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PHILADELPHIA – Phillies slugger Bryce Harper will miss the start of the 2023 season after he had reconstructive right elbow surgery.

The operation was performed by Dr. Neal ElAttrache in Los Angeles.

Harper is expected to return to Philadelphia’s lineup as the designated hitter by the All-Star break. He could be back in right field by the end of the season, according to the team.

The 30-year-old Harper suffered a small ulnar collateral ligament tear in his elbow in April. He last played right field at Miami on April 16. He had a platelet-rich plasma injection in May and shifted to designated hitter.

Harper met Nov. 14 with ElAttrache, who determined the tear did not heal on its own, necessitating surgery.

Even with the elbow injury, Harper led the Phillies to their first World Series since 2009, where they lost in six games to Houston. He hit .349 with six homers and 13 RBIs in 17 postseason games.

In late June, Harper suffered a broken thumb when he was hit by a pitch and was sidelined for two months. The two-time NL MVP still hit .286 with 18 homers and 65 RBIs for the season.

Harper left Washington and signed a 13-year, $330 million contract with the Phillies in 2019. A seven-time All-Star, Harper has 285 career home runs.

With Harper out, the Phillies could use Nick Castellanos and Kyle Schwarber at designated hitter. J.T. Realmuto also could serve as the DH when he needs a break from his catching duties.