The Brewers’ season hasn’t gone the way they planned, in part because of Christian Yelich’s ugly 3-for-34 start at the plate. But after taking a night off Wednesday, the former MVP’s fortunes took a turn for the better on Thursday, and we’re all the better for it—except for White Sox fans and Eloy Jiménez.
Yelich’s first career inside-the-park home run was an instant classic. The video is embedded below, and it deserves a full breakdown.
Let’s start right after Yelich makes contact with the offering from Chicago’s Gio Gonzalez, who immediately seems to think he’s given up a regular ol’ dinger to Yelich.
What’s actually in store is arguably even worse for the White Sox.
Jiménez appears to think he has a bead on it at the warning track ...
… a good 30 feet from where it actually ends up landing just inside the foul line.
Now, Jiménez was not exactly running at full speed at this moment. He has some time to slow his roll and fetch the ball to minimize this mistake to a double or triple.
And yet …
The irony here, of course, is that the extended netting along the baselines was put in place to protect fans. But there are no fans here. That netting is now simply protecting rows of soulless cardboard cutouts and, apparently, doubling as a giant net to catch wayward outfielders.
Jiménez seems to enjoy his time in the net, either blissfully unaware that the ball landed in fair territory or merely enjoying the makeshift hammock.
He spends a full three seconds off his feet, which may not seem like much. But by the time he’s run off to retrieve the ball, Yelich is chugging around second like a man who would do anything to break his season-long slump.
As Jiménez finally throws it in, Yelich is rounding third and the damage is done. He slides into home, but he doesn’t really need to, as the throw is late and well over the intended target.
And with that, Yelich has done it. He’s hit his second home run of the year, tied the game at 2 and put his batting average above .100.
The whole ordeal even seemed to throw Gonzalez, a wily veteran with 13 years of experience, out of sorts. The left-hander didn’t record another out. He walked the next batter, gave up an old-fashioned home run to Jedd Gyorko, allowed Justin Smoak to reach on an error, then was mercifully pulled after allowing a single to Omar Narvaez.
The Brewers went on to win, 8-3. Will this night mark the beginning of a turnaround for Milwaukee? Maybe. Will it serve as a highlight of this season, regardless? Certainly.
- Nick Markakis became the first MLB player to change his mind and return to the field after initially opting out of playing in 2020. In his first game back in Atlanta’s starting lineup, he hit a walk-off home run in the ninth to clinch a series win over the Blue Jays. You couldn’t have written it up any better.
- It appears Shohei Ohtani can rebound quickly from bad news. Back in 2018, he hit two home runs on the same day he learned he’d need Tommy John surgery. Then, on his first swing since exiting his second start of this season with an arm injury, which will likely keep him off the mound for the rest of the year, he walloped an opposite-field home run against Seattle.
- While Ohtani sparked the Angels at the dish, Dylan Bundy carried the load defensively by throwing the third complete game of his career, striking out 10 Mariners to give Los Angeles its sorely needed first series victory of the season. By using his curveball and slider far more often than he ever did in Baltimore, the No. 4 overall pick of the 2011 MLB draft has a 2.08 ERA after three starts and may finally be unlocking his full potential.
- After Colorado’s 6-4 win over San Francisco, the Rockies are in first place in the NL West. The team’s main four starters (Kyle Freeland, German Marquez, Jon Gray, Antonio Senzatela) should get the most credit for that. On Thursday, however, after Freeland served up a three-run homer to Mauricio Dubon on his last pitch to give the Giants the lead, the Rockies conjured some classic Coors magic headlined by a two-run, go-ahead bomb from Daniel Murphy, who stared down Dubon as he rounded the bases. Rocktober magic is in the air.
- The Reds’ scoreless streak is up to 23 innings after they were clobbered by Cleveland, 13-0, to conclude the annual battle for the Ohio Cup. Cincinnati managed just three hits on Thursday, two from Jesse Winker and a single from Shogo Akiyama. The Reds still have time to turn things around, but the sexy NL Central pick is certainly losing its luster.
- The Orioles’ supply of Michael’s Secret Stuff appears to have run out.