MILWAUKEE -- Christian Yelich is likely to miss the first Brewers-Cubs matchup of the season on Thursday after the Milwaukee outfielder exited Wednesday's 6-0 loss to the Cardinals with discomfort in his right oblique.
The Brewers hope to have a better feel for the severity of his injury before they take the field for Thursday's 7:10 p.m. CT series opener against Chicago. As of Wednesday night, Yelich said he was not scheduled to undergo an MRI.
He declined to pinpoint when he first noticed the issue, but said it had nothing to do with his sliding catch in foul ground in the sixth inning. Yelich batted in the bottom of the frame and struck out, then was replaced in left field by Hernan Perez for the seventh.
"No, it was nothing from that," Yelich said of the play in question. "It's just a little tightness, soreness."
Had it been bothering him for a while then?
"No," Yelich said. "Just a precautionary thing, make sure it doesn't turn into something bigger."
Asked whether he worried about missing more than Thursday's game, Yelich said, "We'll just have to re-evaluate. It's still early. I don't really have a lot to go on other than that. Hopefully I'll be back out there soon."
The Brewers hope the same. Yelich, acquired in a blockbuster trade with the Marlins in late January, was 0-for-3 in Wednesday's loss but is hitting .385/.407/.577 with a team-leading six runs scored through the first six games of the season. He collected five of his 10 hits in Saturday's series finale at San Diego, then teamed with Ryan Braun for back-to-back home runs with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning on Tuesday against the Cardinals for the Brewers' only win in their first home series of the year.
Until Yelich clarified after the game, it appeared he might have been hurt chasing Yadier Molina's sacrifice fly in the sixth inning. It was 4-0 at the time, with one out and a runner at third, and had there been the time and space to make a decision, Yelich might have let the baseball drop foul to prevent the run from scoring.
The geography of Miller Park did not allow that kind of reasoning, however.
"I was thinking about it running over there. I knew the situation," Yelich said. "The foul line and the fence are so close over there, that's really not a situation where you can gamble if it's a fair ball or not. If it's the ninth inning of a tie game or something, maybe so. But it was the sixth. It was in-between; I didn't know what to do.
"If it lands foul and you get the [batter] out, it's a good play. If it lands fair and it's a double, and it turns into a big inning, then it's a bad play. That's kind of a tough one. You err on the side of, 'Just catch it here.'"