Castro commits three errors in Wrigley debut

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Starlin Castro slips.jpgNo one really notices this sort of thing if Starlin Castro didn’t hit 6 RBI in his big-splash major league debut last Friday, but he did, so people notice. It was a bad night for Castro against the Marlins, as he committed three errors at short. A video reel of all three can be seen here.

For those who can’t watch the video, the first one came in the third inning when he fielded a grounder and appeared to throw it before he came set, sending the ball up the first base line.  Castro appeared to come set on the second error — this one in the sixth inning — but his throw just sailed on him, allowing the runner to reach.

The third error — though it did not lead to a Marlins run — was perhaps the most problematic.  It came with Hanley Ramirez up to bat in the eighth. Castro failed to come up with the ball on a backhand play. Fair enough, that happens. What doesn’t always happen was his reaction: he jogged after the ball, which sat several yards behind him in the grass. He wasn’t in any particular hurry, and he wasn’t paying any attention to Hanley Ramirez, which allowed Ramirez to take second base.

Nerves? Youth? Brain locks? Probably all of the above. But in light of his reputation and his monster debut last week, people in Chicago are going to expect more out of him than your typical rookie shortstop, so nights like this are going to be highlighted.

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.