Yelich wins batting title, falls shy of Triple Crown
OF goes 3-for-4 to finish at .326 and win first such honor in Brewers history
CHICAGO -- Christian Yelich didn't become a Triple Crown winner, but he is a National League Central champion.
Yelich went 3-for-4 with an RBI in the Brewers' 3-1 win over the Cubs on Monday that sealed the NL Central title in Game 163. Vying to become the 13th Triple Crown winner since 1920, Yelich fell two homers and an RBI short in his quest.
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The 26-year-old, however, led the NL in hitting (.326), to become the first batting champion in Brewers history. But he finished second to the Cubs' Javier Baez in RBIs (111-110) and third to Nolan Arenado and Trevor Story -- who both went deep in the Rockies-Dodgers tiebreaker later Monday -- in homers. Arenado finished with 38 long balls, Story had 37 and Yelich had 36.
Yelich was aiming for baseball's first Triple Crown since the Tigers' Jose Cabrera in 2012. Before that, it hadn't been accomplished since Boston's Carl Yastrzemski in 1967. The last NL player to do it was the Cardinals' Joe Medwick in '37.
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"He's meant the world to this team, for sure," Brewers manager Craig Counsell told ESPN's Buster Olney during the bottom of the fourth inning. "He's had an incredible month, really a historical month in my eyes. The definition of MVP -- you talk about the numbers he's put up plus the value to our team, it's the MVP."
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Merely having a chance for history was special.
"You never think of being in that conversation for the Triple Crown," Yelich said on Sunday. "You don't even dream about that. It's a dumb dream. Get real. It's something that you just have to embrace and not shy away from but realize that, 'Hey, we've got a bigger team goal.'"