Mark Buehrle may retire after 2011

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Mark Buehrle told Mark Gonzalez of the Chicago Tribune that he could retire after the 2011 season:

“As
I sit here now, I’d love to just go home and be with the family and
kids and go from there. But when next year gets here,
at this time, it could be a tough decision, knowing this is all you’ve
known for 15 years of your life and constantly having to be somewhere,
to go somewhere. And all of a sudden you have nothing to do. It’s going
to be a tough decision.”

He’s only 31 right now, and remains a sold pitcher, averaging 223 innings a season over his 11 year career. And he’s had an above-average (below average? Shoot, let’s just call it a “better-than-average”) ERA for nine of the past ten seasons. If he wants to pitch beyond his current contract, he’ll get plenty of offers.

Either way, if he thinks like he pitches, he’ll make his decision quickly.

Video: Albert Almora, Jr. saved by the ivy

Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images
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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.