Just as I was surprised that there is controversy over the Giants starting Madison Bumgarner over Barry Zito, I’m surprised that there’s controversy over the Rangers starting Jorge Cantu over Mitch Moreland at first base tonight against David Price. But apparently there is:
When the sun went down on Monday, Rangers manager Ron W ashington was undecided as to who would play first base on Tuesday night. He was leaning toward right-handed-hitting Jorge Cantu, but said he
wanted to discuss it further with hitting coach Clint Hurdle and other
“My heart wants to put Cantu in there,” Washington said. “I just have a feeling, but we’ll talk about it.”
Jorge Cantu is no great shakes against lefties: he’s a career .272/.323/.451 against them and had a bad Game 1 against David Price. But the other option — Mitch Moreland — hit .200/.304/.300 against them in limited play this year. In light of that, you have to start Cantu, don’t you? Why must Washington rely on his heart?
Or did someone just decide that today is non-controversial controversies day?
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.