Carl Crawford undergoes Tommy John surgery

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Carl Crawford underwent Tommy John surgery on his left elbow today. And I’ll save you the suspense: the surgery was successful.

Here’s a statement from the Red Sox, via Maureen A. Mullen of CSNNE.com:

“Carl Crawford underwent a successful left elbow ulnar collateral ligament reconstruction (Tommy John surgery) performed by Dr. James Andrews today in Pensacola, FL. We expect Carl to make a full recovery.”

Having the surgery now rather than in October gives Crawford a better chance of contributing in the early part of 2013, but he’s far from a sure thing to be ready for the start of the season. So yes, you can expect lots of drama on that topic during spring training.

Crawford was limited to just 30 games this season due to wrist and elbow issues and has a disappointing .260/.292/.419 batting line over his first two seasons with Boston. The 31-year-old outfielder still has five years and $102.5 million left on his contract.

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.