Injured, slumping Placido Polanco will play in All-Star game

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Placido Polanco has slumped horribly following a great first month, hitting just .219 with a .541 OPS in 56 games since May 1, and admitted yesterday that he’s struggled to play through a back injury that has led to leg numbness and “doesn’t feel right.”

The injury and two-month slump didn’t keep him from being voted into the All-Star game as the National League’s starting third baseman and it won’t keep him from playing in the game either.

“I won’t probably make it any worse,” Polanco told Todd Zolecki of MLB.com.

He’s been playing through the injury for two months already, so another few innings isn’t going to dramatically change anything, but given how poor his performance has been during that time it would seem like an opportunity to completely rest for a few days in an effort to get on track in the second half.

Charlie Manuel told Zolecki he doesn’t have a problem with Polanco playing, calling it “a big honor for him.”

Video: Albert Almora, Jr. saved by the ivy

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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.