UPDATE: Pedro Alvarez was indeed placed on the 15-day disabled list, reports Colin Dunlap of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
1:15 PM: According to Colin Dunlap of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the Pirates have dispatched minor league infielder Pedro Ciriaco to Pittsburgh for tonight’s game against the Tigers. The Pirates have yet to announce an official roster move, but Dunlap speculates that Ciriaco could take the place of Pedro Alvarez on the active roster.
Alvarez missed last night’s game with tightness in his right quadriceps, the very same injury that sidelined him for four games earlier this month.
While Alvarez showed plenty of promise last season by batting .256/.326/.451 with 16 homers and 64 RBI over his first 386 major league plate appearances, he’s been a major disappointment so far in 2011. The 24-year-old is currently batting just .202 with two homers, 10 RBI and 42 strikeouts over his first 125 at-bats while his seven errors are tied with Mark Reynolds for the most among major league third basemen.
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.