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VIDEO: Craig Kimbrel Purposely Balks to Advance Runner

Adam Taylor McKillop
Check out video from Craig Kimbrel purposely balking to advance runner to third base in last night's Chicago Cubs game.
Check out video from Craig Kimbrel purposely balking to advance runner to third base in last night's Chicago Cubs game. / Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images
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In his 12th-career MLB season, Chicago Cubs closer Craig Kimbrel seems to have found his groove again. He saved his 10th game of the year last night in the Cubs' 4-1 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Last night's save was pretty standard stuff - 1.0 inning pitched, 0 runs allowed, 1 strikeout, all in 15 pitches. However, Kimbrel did something he's never done in 600+ career MLB games. With two outs and a runner on second base, Kimbrel recorded his first-ever balk.

Only, it seems this balk was purely intentional on his part. It's actually pretty legendary stuff here from the 12-year MLB veteran.

Like most closers, Kimbrel isn't known to be overly proficient at keeping runners on base. He clearly didn't like the runner on second base in this situation, whether it was fears of stealing signs (as the commentators speculated) or something else. So, Kimbrel purposely balks to move the runner to third and in a much more comfortable viewing angle.

Watching the video, it looks like Kimbrel actually tried the move twice. It's almost that he had to point to the home-plate umpire to go ahead and call him on the balk. Legendary stuff.

Kimbrel went on the complete the save and the Cubs win, so no harm and no foul here.


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Adam Taylor McKillop is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Adam Taylor also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username atmckillop. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel. 

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