Every time Wily Mo Pena comes up I — and a lot of other people — get kind of excited because big long home runs and all-or-nothing kind of players like him are sort of neat on some weird level. It’s irrational, I know. It’s just one of those times when people who think like I do cast aside the “how valuable is this player, truly” thinking and just say “man, he’s fun!”
But Pena isn’t like to ever stick full time in the bigs. Just too many holes in his swing and no defensive value at all. Which is why it makes perfect sense that he told ESPN’s Dominican Republic radio station that he may play in Japan next year. The wording was that he may “accept a contract,” so it’s possible that he already has an offer.
Back to irrationality: I hope he hits 50 homers over there and is given some crazy/wonderful nickname by Japanese fans and never has to pay for a meal in Tokyo again.
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.