Kevin Millwood’s chances of being called up by the Red Sox improved with the news that Daisuke Matszuaka will likely undergo season-ending elbow surgery, but the veteran right-hander couldn’t make it out of the third inning last night in his first Triple-A start for Boston.
Millwood, who signed a minor-league deal with the Red Sox last month after being released by the Yankees, allowed four runs on five hits and two walks before exiting with two outs in the second inning.
Prior to being released by the Yankees he also gave up eight runs in nine innings during two Triple-A starts and reports on his fastball velocity weren’t encouraging, which combined with last season’s 4-16 record and 5.10 ERA in 191 innings for the Orioles suggests that Millwood may simply be finished at age 36.
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.