Mark Grace taking an indefinite leave of absence as Arizona’s television analyst following a DUI arrest has led to some speculation that former Diamondbacks manager Bob Brenly could take the job when his contract with the Cubs expires at the end of this season.
Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune asked about that possibility and Brenly pretty clearly shot it down, calling it “rain delay filler” and adding that “I have every confidence that we’ll get something done” to remain with the Cubs.
Brenly and play-by-play man Len Kasper are among the best television duos in baseball and announcing Cubs games is certainly a much higher-profile (and presumably higher-paid) gig than doing the same for the Diamondbacks. Brenly has been the Cubs’ analyst since replacing Steve Stone in 2005 and is currently finishing up a four-year contract.
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.