Ideally, the Cardinals would have NLCS Game 4 starter Adam Wainwright available to start Game 1 or 2 of the World Series next week against Detroit.
But the Cardinals have to get to the World Series first, and so they’re not ruling Wainwright out for a relief appearance in a potential NLCS Game 7 on Monday against the Giants. Via Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
Matheny offered that using Wainwright in relief was at least a topic of discussion for the team, depending on how the next two days unfold.
“We’re still talking about that, but nothing in stone right now,” Matheny said. “I think it’s taking everything into account.”
Wainwright was shelled for six earned runs over just 2 1/3 innings in Game 5 of the NLDS versus the Nationals, but he’s been sharp in his other two postseason outings. The 31-year-old right-hander has a 20/3 K/BB ratio in 15 innings since the beginning of the playoffs. His curveball has been excellent.
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.