Do the Mariners and Brewers have something cookin'?

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As I mentioned in the recaps
this morning, it was probably a blessing in disguise that the Mariners
have face-planted in the past week or so. It was always going to be
tough to keep up with the Angels and even the Rangers, and the fact
that their lot seems to have been cast before, rather than after, the
trading deadline is probably better for their long term prospects.

As Geoff Baker notes,
trading Jarrod Washburn has to be on the top of the agenda. He’s
classic deadline material: a veteran starter pitching better than he
ever has, and in great need of being shipped out so that some value can
be realized. If the Mariners didn’t get rocked by the Indians this
weekend, it would be Seattle, and not someone else, who would have to
watch his painful regression to his mediocre mean.

Baker talks about maybe unloading Washburn to Milwaukee for
shortstop prospect Alcides Escobar. As he notes, it would take more
than Washburn to do it, but if they could pull that off, it would go a
long way to balancing their karma out from the Adam Jones-Erik Bedard
deal. Oh, and it would help the team a lot too.

And lest you think that this is mere wishcasting on the part of Mr. Baker, Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel is thinking the same thing.
Almost exactly the same thing, actually (Washburn and change for
Escobar), which makes you wonder if he and Baker compared notes. Or
have the same team source.

Video: Albert Almora, Jr. saved by the ivy

Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images
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The ALCS had a weird play in Game 4 on Tuesday night, but Game 4 of the NLCS did as well. This one involved Cubs outfielder Albert Almora, Jr. and his attempt to spark a rally in the bottom of the ninth inning against Dodgers reliever Ross Stripling.

After Alex Avila singled, Almora ripped a double to left field, past a diving Enrique Hernandez. The ball rolled to the ivy in front of the wall. Most outfielders there would’ve put their hands up, which would have alerted the umpires to call an immediate ground-rule double. Hernandez didn’t, instead fishing the ball out and firing it back into the infield. Avila had stopped at third base, but Almora kept running. Much to his surprise, he pulled up into third base to see his teammate standing there, resigned to his fate as a dead duck. Third baseman Justin Turner applied the tag on Almora for what he thought was the first out of the inning.

Almora, however, was then sent back to second base after the umpires correctly called a ground-rule double.

Unfortunately for the Cubs, the lucky break didn’t help as closer Kenley Jansen came in and took care of business, retiring all three batters he faced without letting an inherited runner score. The Dodgers won 6-1 and now lead the NLCS three games to none. They’ll try to punch their ticket to the World Series on Wednesday.