UPDATE: He did it! Ervin Santana throws a no-hitter against the Cleveland Indians!
The one run allowed aside — unearned, of course — Santana was highly effective, striking out ten, flashing some electric stuff. It was his 11th career start against the Indians — the team against whom he made his debut — and it was his first-ever win against them. The final out came on a Michael Brantley fly to center.
Santana’s was the first Angels no-hitter since Mark Langston and Mike Witt combined to no-hit Seattle on April 11, 1990. It was the ninth overall in franchise history. Four of them were by Nolan Ryan, natch.
Congratulations Ervin Santana!
UPDATE: Hmm, forgot the no-hitter the Angels lost to the Dodgers back in 2008! That was a combined job too, with Jered Weaver and Jose Arredondo doing the hard work and getting no support for it.
2:10PM: Make that a no-no through eight. Santana is three outs away.
2:00PM: The Indians and the Angels got underway early and are into the top of the eighth inning at this writing. Through seven, Angels starter Ervin Santana has no-hit the Indians.
It’s not a perfect game. And actually, by virtue of an error, some small ball and a wild pitch, it’s not even a shutout. But Santana hasn’t allowed a hit yet and the Angels lead 2-1. We’ll let you know if that changes.
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.