Tim Lincecum surrenders career-high eight runs to Nationals

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Giants right-hander Tim Lincecum tossed seven scoreless innings last Wednesday against the Dodgers and limited the A’s to three runs in six innings the week before that. But the optimism built around those two outings has suddenly dissipated.

Lincecum was torched for a career-high eight runs (seven earned) in 3 1/3 innings Tuesday night in the nation’s capital. The Nationals currently lead 8-2.

Lincecum now owns a brutal 6.17 ERA and 1.55 WHIP through 17 starts this season. He has 101 strikeouts in 93 1/3 innings, but those have come alongside a whopping 49 walks.

One wonders if the Giants will skip Timmy’s final turn before the All-Star break to give him an extended period of rest heading into the second half. Something has to be done, because the waiting game has not worked.

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.