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Christian Yelich may end up with best March/April of all time

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Brewers outfielder Christian Yelich enters Monday’s series opener against the Cardinals leading the league with 13 home runs and 31 RBI in 23 games to start the 2019 season. With eight games remaining in the month, it appears that Yelich will end up with the best March/April of all time — depending on which stats you value.

According to Baseball Reference, Yelich is already one of five players to hit at least 13 homers by the end of April, joining Álex Rodríguez (2007), Albert Pujols (2006), Luis González (2001), and Ken Griffey Jr. (1997). Rodríguez and Pujols hit 14 homers, and Rodríguez led the way with 34 RBI. It wouldn’t take much for Yelich to surpass those numbers. Yelich is also top-five in March/April OPS (1.315) behind Larry Walker (1997; 1.449), Barry Bonds (2002; 1.428), Pujols (2006; 1.423), and Cody Bellinger (2019; 1.382).

We should certainly acknowledge Bellinger’s torrid start to the 2019 season as well. He’s sitting on 11 homers and 28 RBI while leading the majors in batting average (.424), slugging percentage (.882), and OPS. He leads the National League in on-base percentage (.500) across 100 trips to the plate. With Yelich and Bellinger, we’re actually looking at two of the best opening months to a season in baseball history.

Yelich will be sad to leave town after Wednesday afternoon’s game in St. Louis. Of his 13 homers, eight have come in seven games against the Cardinals. The Brewers won’t meet up with the Cardinals again until August.

Video: Cubs score run on Pirates’ appeal throw

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2019 has been one long nightmare for the Pirates. They’re in last place in the NL Central, have had multiple clubhouse fights, and can’t stop getting into bench-clearing incidents. The embarrassment continued on Sunday as the club lost 16-6 to the Cubs, suffering a three-game series sweep in Chicago.

One of those 16 runs the Pirates allowed was particularly noteworthy. In the bottom of the third inning, with the game tied at 5-5, the Cubs had runners on first and second with two outs. Tony Kemp hit a triple to right field, allowing both Ben Zobrist and Jason Heyward to score to make it 7-5. The Pirates thought one of the Cubs’ base runners didn’t touch third base on their way home. Reliever Michael Feliz attempted to make an appeal throw to third base, but it was way too high for Erik González to catch, so Kemp scored easily on the error.

The Pirates lost Friday’s game to the Cubs 17-8 and Saturday’s game 14-1. They were outscored 47-15 in the three-game series. According to Baseball Reference, since 1908, the Pirates never allowed 14+ runs in three consecutive games and only did it two games in a row twice before this series, in 1949 and in 1950. The Cubs scored 14+ in three consecutive games just one other time, in 1930.