Another big blow for Ian Stewart.
According to Troy Renck of the Denver Post, the talented 26-year-old third baseman pulled a hamstring Wednesday while playing for Triple-A Colorado Springs. He’s likely to be sidelined for the next two weeks, and maybe longer.
Stewart has been demoted to the minors twice this season because of his ongoing struggle to produce at the major league level. In 52 big league plate appearances this season, he has managed just two singles, one double, 18 strikeouts and five walks. With zero home runs. That all rings out to an ugly .064/.154/.085 batting line.
The hamstring injury isn’t going to help Stewart’s mission to return quickly to Denver.
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.