One day after releasing veteran right-handed reliever Juan Cruz the Pirates claimed veteran left-handed reliever Hisanori Takahashi off waivers from the Angels, who basically said “you can have him.”
That means the 37-year-old Takahashi and the remainder of his $4.2 million contract are now Pittsburgh property, and the Pirates will add him to their bullpen after the Angels had stashed him at Triple-A.
Takahashi posted an ugly 4.93 ERA in 42 innings for the Angels before the recent demotion, but also had an excellent 41/10 K/BB ratio and carries a 3.80 ERA in 232 career innings. Considering all the Pirates are responsible for is around $1 million it’s not a bad little pickup, although it’s also no surprise that the Angels were willing to just give him away.
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.