Carpenter could start Game 4 on short rest

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With the Cardinals down 2-0 to the Dodgers after last night’s heartbreaking loss, manager Tony La Russa indicated that Chris Carpenter is an option to start Game 4 on short rest if St. Louis can avoid elimination tomorrow.
However, as Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post Dispatch notes Carpenter hasn’t started on short rest since returning from elbow surgery in 2007, needed 105 pitches just to get through five ineffective innings Wednesday, and worked from the stretch about two-thirds of the time.
Joel Pineiro is starting Game 3 for the Cardinals, leaving La Russa to choose between John Smoltz or Kyle Lohse for Game 4 if Carpenter doesn’t get the assignment.

Video: Albert Almora, Jr. saved by the ivy

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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.