Matt Capps is back from the disabled list after missing the past two months with a shoulder injury, but in his absence Glen Perkins left no doubt that he’s the Twins’ best closer option.
Since taking over as closer Perkins has converted 14-of-15 save chances with a 1.91 ERA and 35/4 K/BB ratio in 38 innings, whereas Capps has a 3.64 ERA and just 73 total strikeouts in 121 innings since the Twins acquired him from the Nationals in mid-2010.
Capps has a $6 million option for next season, but even after giving up too much to get him and then paying too much to keep him the Twins will presumably cut bait on the 28-year-old right-hander. When healthy he’s a solid enough pitcher, but Capps has always been better suited for setup man duties.
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.