This has been a difficult season for Milwaukee Brewers star Christian Yelich. Yelich hasn't been bad this year, though he has not come close to matching his previous MVP form. The 2018 NL MVP (and 2019 NL MVP runner-up) took .238/.370/.358 batting line and only six home runs into Saturday's game. Yelich has been limited to 81 games by back trouble and COVID-19 this year.
Saturday afternoon Yelich had what the Brewers surely hope is his breakout game. He slugged two home runs against the Nationals, including an eighth inning grand slam to break the game open (MIL 9, WAS 6). Here are Yelich's two homers. He had a run-scoring single in the game as well.
The two-homer game is Yelich's first multi-homer game in almost exactly two years. He last hit two home runs in a game on Aug. 17, 2019. That was also against the Nationals, coincidentally enough. Yelich had seven multi-homer games from 2018-19 and hit 80 home runs those two seasons combined.
Prior to Saturday, Yelich had gone 18 games without a home run, and he had just a single homer in his previous 36 games. His average exit velocity, which was elite even during his pre-MVP years with the Marlins, has slipped to 90.3 mph this year. It was 93.0 mph from 2018-20. That's a significant and worrisome decline.
Even with Yelich having a tough year, the Brewers improved to 75-49 with Saturday's win, and they have a fairly comfortable eight-game lead in the NL Central. Should they get Yelich on track, Milwaukee will be even more dangerous come postseason time.