Chris Carpenter, John Danks among winless starters

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11 pitchers had made at least five starts this year and are still looking for their first victories.  Here’s the list:

Jeff Francis (Royals) – 0-4, 5.09 ERA in eight starts
Tim Stauffer (Padres) – 0-1, 2.61 ERA in seven starts
John Danks (White Sox) – 0-5, 3.83 ERA in seven starts
Chris Carpenter (Cardinals) – 0-2, 4.19 ERA in seven starts
Madison Bumgarner (Giants) – 0-5, 4.21 ERA in seven starts
Jo-Jo Reyes (Blue Jays) – 0-3, 5.00 ERA in seven starts
Joe Saunders (Diamondbacks) – 0-4, 5.72 ERA in seven starts
Brad Bergesen (Orioles) – 0-4, 5.57 ERA in six starts (one relief)
Mat Latos (Padres) – 0-4, 4.55 ERA in five starts
Ubaldo Jimenez (Rockies) – 0-2, 5.88 ERA in five starts
Nelson Figueroa (Astros) – 0-3, 9.00 ERA in five starts (two relief)

As the Toronto Globe & Mail points out, Reyes has gone 25 starts without a win since 2008. He’s 5-18 lifetime in 44 starts and four relief appearances.

Stauffer is the most unfortunate guy here. He was finally in line for his first win Friday after pitching 6 2/3 scoreless innings and leaving with a 3-0 lead, but Heath Bell, with a lot of help from an ugly Chase Headley error, blew a save for the first time in 42 opportunities. He’s allowed two runs or fewer in six of his seven starts.

Carpenter also deserves special mention for going winless for a first place team. The former 21-game winner has pitched just well enough to lose. His two best starts this season came in games where St. Louis managed just one run, and his two worst coincided with the Cardinals’ two offensive outbursts (an 8-7 loss to the Marlins on May 4 and a 13-8 loss to the Diamondbacks on April 12).

Video: Albert Almora, Jr. saved by the ivy

Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images
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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.