After hitting a home run in each of his first three games of the season, Brewers slugger Christian Yelich swung for the fences again on Sunday. He came up to bat in the bottom of the first inning, drew an 0-1 count from the Cardinals’ Michael Wacha, and cranked a 107-m.p.h., 408-footer out to right field for his fourth home run in as many games.
The home run put Yelich in some rare company: He’s just the sixth MLB player to rake in four home runs over the first four games of the season, joining the likes of Trevor Story (2016), Chris Davis (2013), Nelson Cruz (2011), Mark McGwire (1998), and Willie Mays (1971). No defending MVP had pulled off the feat so far; neither had any player in Brewers’ history.
As we mentioned here yesterday, Yelich has the opportunity to extend his streak when the Brewers road trip to Cincinnati on Monday. If he manages another homer against the Reds’ Tanner Roark (or a bullpen that ranked 18th-best in the league last year), he’ll be the first player with a five-homer streak to start the season.
The Brewers currently lead the Cardinals 1-0 in the top of the third inning.
On Wednesday, Astros third baseman Alex Bregman was hit by Cardinals pitcher Ramon Santos. It marked the seventh time an Astros batter had been hit in spring training exhibition games thus far, the highest total among all teams. As expected, teams are exacting revenge for the Astros’ cheating ways!
Well, not quite. The pitch Santos hit Bregman with was a 3-2 breaking ball that got away. Usually, if a pitcher is going to hit a batter as an act of revenge, he’ll attempt to do it with a first-pitch fastball.
José Altuve was also hit by a pitch against the Tigers on Sunday. The pitch, which looks to be the off-speed variety, appeared to graze his uniform as opposed to hitting him flush, so it was likely unintentional on the part of pitcher Nick Ramirez.
Other Astros to have been hit in spring training thus far: Alex De Goti, Aledmys Díaz, Osvaldo Duarte, Dustin Garneau, and Jake Meyers. Not exactly a who’s-who list of Code Breaker operatives.
Will some pitchers intentionally throw at the Astros this year? Almost certainly, despite commissioner Rob Manfred’s warning. Have they been doing it from the moment exhibition games began earlier this month? Certainly not.