Pouliot's Keys to Game 1

Leave a comment

*Cliff Lee needs to work deep into the game in order to match CC Sabathia.
The Phillies will likely have to rely a great deal on their pen during Games 2 and 3, so it’s important that Lee provide them with at least seven strong innings. The chances of Chad Durbin, Chan Ho Park and Scott Eyre giving the Phillies quality work in the middle innings will decrease the more than the Yankees get to see them.
*The Yankees will work the count and try to get into middle relief.
The Bombers know they have a big advantage in the later innings, even if Phil Hughes and Joba Chamberlain aren’t giving them quite what they hoped in setup roles yet. If they can knock Lee out after six, they’ll get to the soft underbelly of this Phillies team.
*Jimmy Rollins has to start something for Phillies.
Rollins is hitting just .244/.279/.317 in the postseason, but he tends to come around once he reaches base. In 11 career at-bats against Sabathia, he’s collected four hits, including a triple and two doubles.

Video: Albert Almora, Jr. saved by the ivy

Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images
Leave a comment

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.