Lost in all the Manny hubub is the fact that Kenny Williams’ pickup from the last trading deadline — Edwin Jackson — has done really damn well for the Sox since coming over from Arizona.
Last night Jackson was solid, striking out 11 dudes and almost going the distance against the Tribe (he ran out of gas in the ninth). Overall: five starts, 35.2 innings, 45Ks, six non-intentional walks, 1.47 ERA and a 3-0 record.
When the Sox picked him up I and many others assumed that Williams’ was really just stuck with him and that the intent was to flip him for Adam Dunn. That may have been the case — and giving up Daniel Hudson for him may hurt the team in the long run — but Jackson has more than done his part to keep the Sox in the hunt this past month, and that’s exactly what you want out of a deadline-pickup starter.
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.