DENVER — The Brewers wasted no time making mile-high memories with a moonshot for the ages on Tuesday night, as Christian Yelich drove Rockies starter Chad Kuhl’s Statcast-projected 499-foot fourth pitch of the game onto the third deck of Coors. field.
This is the longest dinger of the 2022 season so far. It is also the third-longest streak tracked by Statcast (since 2015), trailing only Nomar Mazara (505 feet) and Giancarlo Stanton (504). And a dominant seven innings from Brandon Woodruff and the Brewers, who led by five runs in the bottom of the eighth, didn’t prevent Milwaukee from falling to a brutal 10-7 loss in 10 innings.
• 11 longest homers since 2015
“It felt great, but then it was a tough night for us,” Yelich said of his long ball as the Crew moved back to within three games of the National League wild card race. “It’s one of those things where everything is right for you, really hits a good spot. Oddly enough, playing here [at Coors Field] nine or 10 times was my first run [past 100 at-bats], so I guess if you wait that long, it counts.”
It was the second-longest home run in the Statcast era at Coors Field, behind Stanton’s 504-foot shot on August 6, 2016, when he was with the Marlins. Ironically, Yelich was hitting in front of him when Stanton set the mark from the cleanup spot as it was 3-4 in the order.
“Stanton got it very well,” Yelich recalled. “He always hits balls like that, but I miss him. It was very good. “
Tuesday’s blast was Yelich’s fourth career leadoff homer and his second of the season. It is the longest home run of his career, eclipsing his previous mark of 462 feet.
“At least give me an extra foot,” Yelich joked about just missing the 500-foot club. “It will be cooler tomorrow after the hard damage is over, but yes, we need an additional 12 inches.”
The blast was Yelich’s 12th of the year and first since Aug. 28 against Chicago, and capped a rough road trip that saw him hit .143 (1-for-7) entering the game. He ended up going 2-for-5, getting a tough break when his ninth-inning liner hit Rockies rookie third baseman Elehuris Montero to right for an inning-ending double play with a runner on first.
The previous longest home run of the season was by Jesus Sanchez of the Marlins, who went 496 feet at Coors Field.
The only blemish on Woodruff’s line was a third-inning solo shot to left from Montero.
“You can put this up there [with my best season],” Woodruff said of his outing. “I was just executing, and I think if I can do that anywhere, I can always throw like that. Just make quality pitches.”
But after Woodruff exited, the first four Colorado batters in the eighth doubled their team’s hit total, capped by a three-run blast by Jonathan Dza to give the Rockies a run in his first game off the injured list. Randall Grichuk tied the game at 6-6 with a two-out solo shot to left.
“That’s the effort we wanted from Woody,” manager Craig Counsell said. “He pitched one in seven innings here. He put us in a great position to win the game. So I went to Luis [Perdomo], and it obviously happened fast. Nothing good happened after that, obviously.”
Woodruff questioned himself about his exit, but he didn’t second-guess his manager or his teammates.
“Trust me, I don’t feel good about it,” Woodruff said. “But in that last innings I had a quick knock, but the ball wasn’t coming out the way I wanted it to and I was kind of getting close to the end. Honestly, it was the right time. Start a clean inning with a reliever. It just didn’t go our way and that’s a very bad episode. “
After a scoreless ninth, Yelich started the 10th frame with the designated runner on second and scored on Willie Adams’ double to left, but the Rockies tied it against reliever Taylor Rogers when Dza lined Ryan McMahon with his own double to left.
Willie Adams’ Go-Ahead Drive
With one out and runners on first and third in the 10th, and the infield pulled in, Grichuk went deep, launching a 457-foot, three-run homer into the left-field bleachers.
“You just have to [bounce back], you have no choice,” Yelich said of the latest in a string of tough losses. “For the past few months, it feels like every couple of days there’s been a heartbreaking loss. But in this game, there’s nothing you can do except come back the next day and find a way to win it.”