Willie Mays calls in sick for ceremonial first pitch

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The Giants invited six legends from the franchise’s past to throw out the first pitch Wednesday before Game 1 of the World Series at San Francisco’s AT&T Park.  Unfortunately, only five could make it.

Willie Mays, called the greatest player of all time in some circles, had to call in sick for the pre-game ceremony.  This according to the Associated Press.

Orlando Cepeda, Monte Irvin, Juan Marichal, Willie McCovey and Gaylord Perry delivered their pitches and the Giants are out to a commanding lead in Game 1 against Texas, but it would have been nice for the 79-year-old Mays to make an appearance.

If the Giants stick around long enough in this seven-game Fall Classic, perhaps “The Say Hey Kid” will get the chance.

Bobby Thomson’s daughters, Megan Armstrong and Nancy Mitchell, are scheduled to throw out ceremonial pitches for Game 2.  But the Giants probably don’t have anything planned for a potential Game 6 or 7 back in San Francisco.

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.