When last we heard about Justin Duchscherer he was undergoing season-ending hip surgery. That, combined with the fact that before he went down he was 2-1 with a 2.89 ERA over his first five starts makes him the dictionary definition of a high-risk guy with some upside. Worth a cheap flier for someone in need of pitching.
The Yankees need pitching, and Jerry Crasnick reports that they’re interested in him. Could be as a starter, could be as a reliever. Could depend on whether Andy Pettitte decides if he’s coming back.
I like the idea of him in pinstripes better than Jeremy Bonderman or Jeff Francis or guys like that. Seems more likely to keep the ball in the yard than they would. Of course, he’s also way more likely to get hurt and miss a bunch of time too, but that’s the nature of risk.
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.