Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times gives us a real man-bites-dog story today: Carlos Zambrano compassionately helping a teammate through a rough emotional time:
“Right after I finished pitching, I texted Zambrano, and I was telling him, ‘Man, I don’t know what’s going on,’ ” Silva said. “What he told me in the text was, ‘You just need to forget everything, go out there and pitch and do your thing. You know how to pitch, you did it before, so why can’t you do it again?’ It’s true.’’
Carlos Zambrano: the voice of reason. I like it!
Now excuse me as I tag this post so I can quickly call it up again come May when Zambrano has a meltdown of his own.
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.