One day after Jim Tracy resigned as manager the Rockies announced that hitting coach Carney Lansford and third base coach Rich Dauer will not be brought back for 2013.
Troy Renck of the Denver Post reports that no other coaching changes are forthcoming, although whoever is hired to replace Tracy will surely want to build his own coaching staff.
Lansford replaced Don Baylor as the Rockies’ hitting coach in 2011 and the team ranked second and third among NL teams in runs during his two seasons on the job, but that’s misleading because of Coors Field’s impact. On the road the Rockies ranked 28th and 30th in scoring among MLB teams. In other words, take Rockies hitters away from altitude and they were basically the worst in baseball under Lansford.
Of course, that was the same story with the offense under Baylor as well and shows why trying to figure out how to build a consistently strong pitching staff isn’t the only challenge presented by calling Coors Field home.
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.