And That Happened: Monday’s playoff highlights

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Cardinals 12, Nationals 4: Just sayin’, teams that lose their starting pitchers early due to injuries are 2-0 this postseason. If I’m the Giants or the A’s tonight, I hope for Ryan Vogelsong and Brett Anderson to get hurt. The Cardinals blast the Nats, with two homers from Carlos Beltran. About whom, some guy from Long Island probably thinking right now, was merely trolling the Mets from 2005-2011.

Orioles 3, Yankees 2: If you’re a closer, it pays to have a short memory.  Random observation based on watching Jeter misplay a couple of balls during last night’s game and, for that matter, watching two decades of Yankees playoff games: Jeter could drive his car through a crowded school playground, mowing down three score students with multiple fatalities, and whoever is covering the story would talk about how, normally, he’s such a great driver. They’d then describe the tragedy in the passive voice with terms like “the car just went into the kids near the swing set, there. Tough break for Jeter, who normally does not commit multiple acts of vehicular homicide.”

Video: Albert Almora, Jr. saved by the ivy

Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images
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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.