MLB — Christian Yelich-Clayton Kershaw a matchup we will not anticipate


MILWAUKEE — If a best-of-seven playoff sequence can have a tone-setting second within the first inning of {Game} 1, then be sure to’re watching Friday evening when all-world pitcher Clayton Kershaw takes on Nationwide League MVP favourite Christian Yelich. It will be the primary marquee matchup of the NL Championship Collection between the Milwaukee Brewers and Los Angeles Dodgers.

“You get pleasure from that as a participant, going up towards one of the best,” Yelich stated Thursday afternoon. “Simply attempt to see the way you stack up. You get pleasure from competing, and it looks as if he actually enjoys competing, and that is what it is all about.”

Yelich is likely to be having fun with it greater than Kershaw to date this 12 months as he was 4-for-6 with two dwelling runs off Kershaw within the common season. These are confidence-building moments, even for one of many hottest hitters within the recreation. Kershaw understands he may need to return to the drafting board.

“I am about to go look proper now,” Kershaw stated not lengthy after Yelich spoke Thursday. “So I do not know what he is modified because the final time I confronted him or something like that. However yeah, he is gotten some hits off me for positive, and [I’ll] attempt to not let him try this [Friday].”

Yelich hit virtually all the things and everybody underneath the solar within the second half, along with his one weak point coming within the decrease half of the strike zone, particularly the skin portion. He produced only a .582 OPS on these pitches. Kershaw tried to get him on the market, however Yelich laid off low fastballs and teed off on Kershaw’s slider, which caught extra of the zone than the Dodgers ace could have wished. Yelich was 3-for-Three with a house run and double on at-bats ending with a Kershaw slider. The Brewers proper fielder was requested what the key of attending to Kershaw was.

“Loads of luck,” he stated with a smile. “He is among the best pitchers within the recreation. Robust at-bat each time you face him. It is a battle.”

Teammate Eric Thames added: “His velocity is not as excessive because it was, however he nonetheless competes and is as robust as ever. For anybody to take him deep or hit him laborious, it is a good pat on the again.”

Yelich continued to downplay his success towards Kershaw, however it extends past 2018. For his profession, the left-handed hitter is 9-for-17 with a stroll off the L.A. lefty.

“You are not going to get a complete lot of alternatives, however whenever you do, you [have to] capitalize on them and actually do all of the little issues proper,” Yelich stated.

Like most managers, during the last month of the season, Dodgers skipper Dave Roberts had no public solutions for methods to cease Yelich, simply extra reward.

“He is clearly a man you do not need to let beat you,” Roberts stated. “He is protecting lots of completely different zones. He hits left-handed pitching, right-handed pitching. He is utilizing the massive a part of the sector. He can shorten up and get a base hit when he must. So, I feel for us, the secret is clearly you are conscious of him, and it’s important to sort of sequence him the correct method as a result of he is swinging the bat very nicely, and he is an MVP.”

Yelich had simply two hits — one was a house run — however six walks within the division sequence towards the Colorado Rockies and scored 4 runs within the low-scoring sequence. He additionally stole two bases as his common season has carried over. It makes that first-inning matchup with Kershaw a juicy one. And it makes his each at-bat should watch.

“I feel whenever you’re going through guys like that, I do not suppose you suppose you ever have them discovered,” Brewers supervisor Craig Counsell stated. “It is two nice gamers going up towards one another. It is the cat-and-mouse recreation. Is the success he had up to now, is he going to do the identical factor, is he going to do one thing completely different? Each participant could be very nicely conscious of the historical past towards the pitcher on the mound or the hitter within the field. They’re conscious of it. They’ve scouted it. They’ve checked out it.

“However the wonderful thing about our recreation is prefer it’s ‘What’s subsequent?’ What are you going to do primarily based off that final matchup? What are you going to do off my success towards you or your success towards me? And I feel that is the cool half about watching Kershaw versus Yelich, is to see what occurs subsequent.”

We’ll discover out what’s subsequent as the 2 are sure to face off in a number of huge moments over the subsequent week. Will Kershaw go along with his fastball extra to be able to get Yelich to chase the place he does his least harm? Or is, merely, a better-thrown slider the reply? Even Yelich is happy to see the way it performs out.

“It is what it is all about,” Yelich stated. “It is what makes this time of the 12 months actually enjoyable. It is what you play for as a participant, and like I stated, he is an amazing participant, nice pitcher. He is had an unbelievable profession, and we all know it’ll be a battle.”


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