The Giants are going to have some problems in 2011

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There will be a metric butt-ton of “10 reasons the Giants won’t repeat” or “10 reasons the Giants will repeat” articles written in the coming weeks.  Hint: avoid the ones with slide shows. They’re awful.

Actually, you can probably avoid all of them except (a) the one I inevitably do when I’m hurting for content in a week or two; and (b) the one that Dan Szymborski did over at ESPN today.  Bonus: it’s only four reasons long. And apologies, but it’s Insider-only content.  I’ll give you the executive summary, though: the rotation was unusually healthy last year, Posey, Huff, Burrell and Torres are likely to regress, and there isn’t a lot of room on the roster to work in the couple of young guys on the horizon like Brandon Belt.  I think the first reason Dan cites is the best, however:

While the team didn’t win the World Series, the 1993 Phillies shared a lot of similarities with last year’s Giants; both teams played on the perception that they were made up of a bunch of unkempt castoffs. The Phillies kept the roster intact and fell apart the next season, the premature end of the season due to the strike almost a mercy to the 54-61, fourth-place team.

The Giants have basically stood pat. Their most notable move that didn’t involve simply retaining a player was letting Juan Uribe go and signing Miguel Tejada instead.  I think that’s a step down.
Everything broke right for San Francisco last year and they are either intentionally or effectively banking on it happening again.  That tends not to work out very well very often, and I don’t think it will work out well for the Giants in 2011.

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.