When Dallas Braden strained his surgically-repaired shoulder last week, the A’s weren’t exactly sure how bad of a setback it would be to his ongoing recovery.
But that information has since been revealed.
According to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle, A’s manager Bob Melvin said Tuesday that Braden will be shut down for the next three weeks and will have to “restart” his throwing program after that. In other words, Braden’s original early-May return timetable can now be pushed back into June.
The 28-year-old left-hander has posted a 4.16 ERA and 1.33 WHIP in 491 1/3 career major league innings. Another setback — even a minor one — could put him in danger of missing the entire first half of 2012.
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.