Mets add right-hander Igarashi to bullpen

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The Mets confirmed the signing of reliever Ryota Igarashi to a two-year contract on Thursday. The financials weren’t disclosed, but it’s believed the deal is worth around $3 million.
It’s a nice little gamble for the Mets, and I thought Igarashi would get twice as much when he announced he was coming over. The 30-year-old right-hander had a 3.25 ERA in 507 career appearance for the Yakult Swallows. Last season, he finished with a 3.19 ERA and a 44/20 K/BB ratio in 53 2/3 innings. He still throws in the mid-90s in occasion, and it should take major league hitters to adjust to his splitter. Poor command and questions about his ability to throw 70 innings per year caused some teams to shy away, but he has a chance to be a pretty good seventh- and eighth-inning guy if used carefully.

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.