ST. LOUIS -- Another National League Player of the Week Award -- his third this season and second this month -- helped ease Christian Yelich's pain Monday ahead of the Brewers' pivotal series against the Cardinals.Yelich, the NL leader with a .322 batting average entering play Monday, was back in
ST. LOUIS -- Another National League Player of the Week Award -- his third this season and second this month -- helped ease Christian Yelich's pain Monday ahead of the Brewers' pivotal series against the Cardinals.
Yelich, the NL leader with a .322 batting average entering play Monday, was back in action for Milwaukee's opener at Busch Stadium after exiting Sunday's series finale in Pittsburgh with a bruised right elbow. It was the result of an errant fastball from Pirates reliever Michael Feliz, who was back out for the seventh inning despite a wild sixth in which he walked three batters, including two with the bases loaded, and threw a run-scoring wild pitch that gave the Brewers a 12-4 lead in a game they would win, 13-6.
"Obviously, I wasn't very pleased at the time, for many reasons," Yelich said. "But I'm fine. We're good to go. We got lucky. We were a few inches away from this being a lot bigger deal than it was."
Of the Pirates sticking with Feliz despite his unusual wildness, Yelich said, "It's part of the game, obviously, getting hit. I was just a little frustrated by the situation. They're down by eight. They've got a guy showing no sort of command, at all, throughout the day. I watch it back, and it's an eight-run game, late in the game, and this guy who has no command is flashing up and in underneath your hands -- down eight. That's what didn't really sit well with me.
"I understand it's part of the game and those things happen, but I think if you saw some frustration and me not being very happy about it, that was why. It didn't make a whole lot of sense to me. That's not the time or the place to do that. It happened. It is what it is. We're moving on. But if you're wondering why I was unhappy, that was why, and I believe I am justified in that belief."
Yelich's elbow was still swollen as he prepared for batting practice Monday, but said the pitch caught the meaty part of his forearm and missed his elbow.
He did not plan to wear a brace, unwilling to risk altering a swing that has produced better than any in Major League Baseball since the All-Star break. Yelich's award-winning week began with him hitting for the cycle for the second time this season -- both against the Reds -- and ended with him slashing .545/.615/1.091 in six games with seven runs scored, 12 hits, four doubles, a triple, two home runs, seven RBIs, three walks and two stolen bases. He also won the weekly honor for weeks ending July 29 and Sept. 2.
"Like I've said before, it's a cool honor, but it kind of gets lost in what we've got at stake as a team," said Yelich. "Obviously, you'll take it. It's always nice to be honored amongst your peers. But we've got a huge week ahead of us."
"Since the first at-bat of the second half, he went into another gear," said Brewers manager Craig Counsell. "He had mentioned a couple of times in the first half that he wasn't really locked in, and yet he was an All-Star and having a pretty good first half. I didn't really know what he was talking about, but I guess he knew what he was talking about."
Counsell breathed a sigh of relief when it was clear that Yelich had dodged an injury on Sunday's hit-by-pitch.
"Injuries are scary right now," Counsell said. "We have to compete every day and we have to win games. We caught a break there."
The Brewers will host a watch party for fans 21 and older beginning at 5 p.m. CT on Wednesday night at Flannery's Bar and Restaurant, 425 E. Wells St. in Milwaukee. Fox Sports Wisconsin's Craig Coshun will host the event, with Brewers Live coverage beginning at 5:30 p.m. and the first pitch of the Brewers-Cardinals game scheduled for 6:10 p.m. The first 100 fans who arrive will receive a pair of tickets to Sunday's final home game of the regular season.
The regional sports network will incorporate live shots from the event into Wednesday's broadcast. For updates and information, visit Brewers.com/WatchParty.
Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy and like him on Facebook.