Yu Darvish announces that he will be posted on Thursday

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Courtesy of Google’s Japanese-to-English translation service (hey, we’re doing what we can here people) comes this announcement from the personal blog of Japanese right-hander Yu Darvish:

This time, having decided that Darvish posting system to use. The announcement will convey to everyone here, because most of the fans. The baseball team Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters I really appreciate it. However, just because it still took a posting procedure can not speak for more at this stage. I would like the conference will be all fixed.

In other words, Darvish is leaving Nippon Professional Baseball and heading to the major leagues, and will address any questions at a press conference soon. He’ll become available for posting bids on Thursday and is expected to draw offers from some of baseball’s biggest spenders.

Darvish, 25, posted a stellar 18-7 record, 1.44 ERA and 276/36 K/BB ratio across 232 innings this past season for the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters. He had a 1.99 career ERA in seven total NPB seasons.

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UPDATE: Patrick Newman of NPB Tracker has a far better translation of the Darvish blog post and was kind enough to let us use it. Patrick’s site does a great job of tracking NPB headlines. Check it out.

To all the fans, an announcement

At this time, Yu Darvish has decided to use the posting system.

Because I wanted to relay this to the fans first, I am announcing this here.

I greatly appreciate the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters Baseball Club.

Because we’ve only just begun the posting process, I can’t talk about the details now.

I wish to hold a press conference once everything is decided.

Yu Darvish

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.