Christian Yelich
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Video: Christian Yelich hammers first NLCS home run in Game 7

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Christian Yelich didn’t waste any time putting the Brewers on the board as the team kicked off Game 7 of the NLCS on Saturday. After going homer-less since Game 1 of the NLDS, Yelich pounced on a 98.4-MPH fastball from the Dodgers’ Walker Buehler and plunked it over the center field fence for a 1-0 lead in the first inning:

While Yelich put up monster numbers during the regular season, including a .326/.402/.598 batting line, 36 home runs, and a 1.000 OPS, his power all but evaporated during the Brewers’ postseason run. Entering Saturday’s game, he’s collected just two extra bases — a two-run homer in Game 1 of the NLDS and a double in Game 6 of the NLCS — and maintained a sluggish .188 average over nine games so far.

Rookie Buehler has been a relatively easy target for batters in the playoffs after allowing a cumulative nine runs and two homers over his last two appearances. Things might get a little more tricky for the Brewers should Clayton Kershaw take the mound tonight; as Dodgers’ skipper Dave Roberts told reporters earlier today, Kershaw will be ready to step out of the bullpen at the first sign of trouble. For what it’s worth, however, playoff teams that score first have gone 21-6 this fall (h/t MLB Stat of the Day).

The Brewers currently trail 2-1 in the second following Cody Bellinger‘s two-RBI blast off of Jhoulys Chacín in the top of the inning.

Pirates hire Ben Cherington as their new general manager

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The Pittsburgh Pirates have hired Ben Cherington as the team’s new general manager. They do so after the general manager meetings ended, but better late than never.

Cherington served as GM of the Boston Red Sox for four years, winning the World Series in 2013, but resigned during the 2015 season after Dave Dombrowski was named Boston’s new president of baseball operations. Which was a defacto demotionn for Cherington who, until then, had the final say in baseball decisions. Dombrowski, of course, was fired late in the season this year. Cherington went on to work for the Toronto Blue Jays as a vice president, but was seen as biding his time for another GM position. Now he has one.

Cherington takes over in Pittsburgh for executive vice president and general manager Neal Huntington, who was fired after a 12 years at the helm. Also fired was team president Frank Coonelly. Travis Williams replaced Coonelly recently. While the Pirates experienced a few years of contention under Huntington and Coonelly, they have slid out of contention in recent years as the club has traded away promising players for little return, all while cutting payroll. There’s a very big rebuilding job ahead of Cherington.

The first move he’ll have to make: hire a manager, as the team still hasn’t replaced Clint Hurdle since he was dismissed in the final weekend of the regular season.