Well, this should be fun.
Delmon Young won the ALCS MVP after batting .353 (6-for-17) with two home runs, a double and six RBI against the Yankees, but Tigers manager Jim Leyland won’t have the luxury of the DH spot during the World Series in National League parks. However, he’s prepared to sacrifice some defense in order to keep him in the lineup.
According to Bob Nightengale of USA Today, Leyland plans to play Young in left field in National League parks. Of course, the Cardinals or Giants will have home field advantage in the World Series since the National League won the All-Star Game back in July, so the Tigers could play as many as four games on the road.
We could see Young removed for a late-inning defensive replacement, but Leyland appears determined to roll with him as a regular. Andy Dirks has started in left field for all nine of the Tigers’ postseason games, but he could share playing time with Avisail Garcia and Quintin Berry in right field in National League parks.
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.