Shi Davidi of Sportsnet has an interesting column on the education of Brett Lawrie. Specifically, his demeanor towards the umps in light of his helmet toss last week and this week’s incident in which he ran across the field to confront an ump following a disputed call on the base paths.
After the latter call, manager John Farrell pulled Lawrie aside and seemed to get into it with him a bit:
“He was telling me his thoughts at the time, that he went to get an explanation,” said Farrell. “And he goes ‘Am I not allowed to do that?’ I said, ‘You’re allowed to ask an umpire anything that’s on your mind. But when you sprint at him, the body language speaks volumes.’
That’s the real issue. Umps, like anyone, hate to be shown up and no one likes to be berated. If a call goes against you, and you throw crap or sprint across the field to get up in their face, you’re gonna have a bad time of it. Lawrie will have to figure that out one way or the other.
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.