It still looks like the Yankees are going to finish with the American League’s best record, but not everything is fine and dandy in New York. Freddy Garcia just turned in his third straight poor start Sunday, giving up three runs in 4 2/3 innings in a loss to the Blue Jays. Adam Lind homered off him twice.
Here’s the starting pitcher ERAs for the Yankees over the last 30 days:
Ivan Nova: 2.41
CC Sabathia: 3.34
Bartolo Colon: 4.88
Phil Hughes: 5.14
Freddy Garcia: 8.56
A.J. Burnett: 9.00
Each pitcher there except Garcia has had exactly five starts. Garcia has had three since coming off the disabled list.
It’s safe to say Sabathia, Colon and Nova are in. Garcia still has the second best overall ERA of the group, a 3.77 mark that’s slightly better than the 3.81 marks shared by Nova and Colon. Still, Garcia was always going to be a hard guy to trust in the postseason and now it seems likely that the Yankees will instead choose to take their chances one of the harder throwers. Whether that’s Hughes or Burnett will probably depend on how each fares from here.
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.