Scott Rolen is absent from Friday’s lineup and iffy for the weekend after receiving two cortisone injections for soreness in his left shoulder, the Cincinnati Enquirer reports.
“I kind of tracked it back to San Diego,” he said, referring to an April 11-13 series. “I don’t know if you guys have noticed, but I haven’t been excelling. I’m not pointing fingers but I’ve been struggling a bit with my shoulder seven to 10 days.”
Rolen is in a 4-for-29 slump that’s left him at .217/.246/.417 in 60 at-bats for the season. He drove in 10 runs in his first nine games but just two in seven games since.
Rolen had shoulder surgery in 2005 and has frequently dealt with soreness in the area since, though cortisone usually takes care of it. This time, the pain is spread out between his shoulder, neck and back. An MRI on his neck came back negative.
With Rolen absent, the Reds have Miguel Cairo starting at third base and batting seventh against the Cardinals tonight.
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.