Holy neighborhood play, Batman! Tim Welke blows a call badly

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You often see an umpire call the runner out even though the first baseman steps away from the bag a bit after fielding the throw. Or especially on plays at second base where a middle infielder’s good faith effort to prevent having his legs broken results in an “out” call even if he doesn’t touch the bag at exactly the same moment he has the ball.

It’s called the “neighborhood play” and it’s not something that people normally get too bent out of shape about.  But one just happened in the Dodgers-Rockies game that deserves people getting bent out of shape about.

Tell me: what “neighborhood” was Todd Helton in here when Jerry Hairston was called out by first base umpire Tim Welke?

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I don’t expect anyone from MLB to comment. But man, really?  You tellin’ me that a fifth umpire in the booth couldn’t have and shouldn’t have fixed this in about ten seconds?

But hey, Human Element, man.

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.