The Miami Marlins have had a hard time picking up a win against the Cubs on this road series. For Christian Yelich, a personal streak hangs in the balance.
When the Miami Marlins drafted Christian Yelich in the first round of the MLB draft in 2010, he projected as a potential power bat. His discipline at the plate, ability to hit to all fields, and 6 foot 4 inch frame made him a steal at the 23rd overall pick.
Fast-forward seven years and the organization is still waiting for that power to fully realize itself. Yelich is only 25 years old and already considered a franchise cornerstone. The power is likely on the way, but he’s yet to put it together for a full season.
That is of course, unless he’s playing in the friendly confines of Wrigley Field.
Yelich has played in Wrigley every year he has been in the big leagues. He has managed to belt a home run in every visit.
Travis Wood, Jeff Samardzija, Jason Hammel, Joe Smith. 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016. Yelich has one more game to keep his streak alive through this season. Tonight he’ll face off against veteran John Lackey, in his final night to keep his impressive personal streak intact.
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For his career, Yelich has only logged six plate appearances against Lackey. He has never homered, but has had success in his limited number of chances. For his career against Lackey, Yelich has managed two hits in four official at bats. He’s singled, doubled, drawn a walk, and executed a sacrifice fly.
He’ll be looking to add to his career RBI total against Lackey, which currently sits at two.
Whoever Yelich manages to take deep tonight, it will simultaneously keep his personal streak alive, as well as be his first home run against that pitcher. The Miami Marlins outfielder does not have a home run against any pitcher currently on the Chicago Cubs roster.
A cog in the machine
It’s not ground-breaking news to say that Yelich would be thrilled to take Lackey deep. It’s unlikely that the main reason is keeping a personal home run streak alive. The streak is likely the result of Yelich seeing the ball well here, and getting favorable wind patterns when the Fish have rolled into town. I’d be surprised if he were even aware such streak existed.
At this point, you’d have to imagine that he’s most concerned with helping the team pick up wins. They haven’t done that in Wrigley so far this season, and a home run would help the cause considerably. With a win on Wednesday, the Fish can head to Pittsburgh with some momentum they came into town with remaining.
Christian Yelich has bopped seven home runs through the first week of June. That puts him on pace to hit 14 for the year. After hitting 21 last season, that isn’t the power growth the franchise and fans are hoping to see. Another dinger tonight would help things along in more ways than one.