Baltimore is already without Brian Roberts and the man who’s filled in for him at second base for most of the past two seasons, Robert Andino, has now joined him on the disabled list.
Andino strained his left shoulder diving for a ball Sunday. Or as manager Buck Showalter put it: “He’s got some fibers he tore in there and some strain up in the shoulder.”
He’s expected to miss 3-4 weeks, which leaves the Orioles dipping down to third on the depth chart for career minor leaguer Steve Tolleson and Rule 5 pick Ryan Flaherty. Of course, Orioles second basemen rank 29th among MLB teams with a .563 OPS overall this season, so it can’t get a whole lot worse.
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.