Video: Did Madison Bumgarner balk?

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Madison Bumgarner found himself in a pickle in the seventh inning in his start against the Cardinals in Game 1 of the NLCS on Saturday night. It was the first real threat the Cardinals had mounted against him, putting runners on second and third with two outs. Yadier Molina and Jon Jay both singled with one out and then advanced a base each when Kolten Wong grounded out to first base.

With a 2-2 count to pinch-hitter Tony Cruz, Bumgarner appeared to balk when he stepped off of the mound but no call was made. Several Cardinals, including manager Mike Matheny, yelled from the dugout, pleading for the call to be made. Bumgarner then struck out Cruz to escape the threat.

Bumgarner doesn’t think he balked, but said “it was close”, per Marcus Thompson of the Bay Area News Group.

Watch: Christian Yelich continues to make a case for NL MVP repeat

Christian Yelich
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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.