Kolten Wong just put the Cardinals back in front in Game 3 of the NLDS against the Dodgers with a two-run homer off Scott Elbert in the bottom of the seventh inning.
Elbert came on to replace Hyun-Jin Ryu, who allowed just one run — a solo homer by Matt Carpenter — over six innings. Not bad for 23 days’ rest, right? However, Yadier Molina greeted Elbert with a double into the left field corner before Jon Jay sacrificed him over to third base. With the rain falling, Wong then ripped a pitch over the right field fence to give St. Louis a 3-1 lead.
It’s worth noting that Elbert only made seven appearances in the majors during the regular season, yet he was asked to pitch in a very crucial situation. You’d think all that money could have bought the Dodgers a bullpen, but it remains a weakness.
Elbert was eventually pulled after giving up a two-out double to Matt Carpenter. Brandon League gave up a single to Randal Grichuk, but made a nice play on a comebacker off the bat of Matt Holliday to end the scoring threat.
We’re headed to the top of the eighth in St. Louis.
Christian Yelich simply can’t be stopped. The Brewers outfielder (and defending NL MVP) entered Saturday’s game with a league-leading 11 home runs after swatting two against the Dodgers on Friday night, then clubbed another two homers in the first six innings of Saturday’s game.
The first came on a 2-1 pitch from the Dodgers’ Hyun-Jin Ryu, who lobbed a changeup toward the bottom of the strike zone before it was lifted up and out to center field for a solo home run in the third inning.
While Chase Anderson and Alex Claudio held down the fort against the Dodgers’ lineup, Yelich prepared for his second blast in the sixth inning — this one a 421-foot double-decker on a first-pitch curveball from Ryu.
Yelich’s 13 home runs not only gave him a stronger grip on the league’s leaderboard, but helped him tie yet another franchise record, too. Per MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy, he’s tied with Prince Fielder for the most home runs hit by a Brewers player in a single month, and sits just one home run shy of tying Álex Rodríguez’s 2007 record for most home runs hit within any club’s first 22 games of the season.
It may be far too early to predict which players will finish first in the MVP races this fall, but there’s no denying Yelich has already set himself apart from the competition. Through Saturday’s performance, he’s batting .361/.459/.880 with a 1.329 OPS and MLB-best 31 RBI across 98 PA so far.