Rays remove Rocco Baldelli from playoff roster with left leg fatigue, add Willy Aybar

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Tampa Bay including Rocco Baldelli on the playoff roster was a surprise given that he logged a total of just 24 at-bats for the Rays after spending much of the season as a minor-league coach.
Even more surprising was that manager Joe Maddon gave Baldelli the Game 1 start at designated hitter against Cliff Lee. He went 0-for-3 with two strikeouts and now the Rays have removed Baldelli from the playoff roster, adding Willy Aybar in his place.
Mid-series roster changes can only be made as a result of injuries, and so the official reason being given is that Baldelli has “left leg fatigue.” That’s sure to raise some eyebrows, but Baldelli has a long history of health problems that have sidetracked his once-promising career on several different occasions and the Rays say the leg fatigue is related to his mitochondrial disorder.
Aybar is starting at DH this afternoon against left-hander C.J. Wilson. Baldelli is now ineligible to play in the remaining ALDS games or the ALCS if the Rays advance that far, but would be eligible to return for the World Series.

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.