The Giants ran away with Game 1, but pitching is the name of the game tonight.
Madison Bumgarner and Doug Fister have matched zeros so far as Game 2 remains scoreless through five innings.
Bumgarner, who struggled over his first two starts this postseason, has allowed just two hits while striking out six and walking none. He has also hit a batter. The southpaw has received some help from his defense and also from Tigers third base coach Gene Lamont, who made the ill-advised decision to give Prince Fielder the green light on a double by Delmon Young with nobody out in the second inning. Fielder was thrown out at the plate thanks to an excellent tag by Buster Posey.
Fister, meanwhile, has allowed just two hits while striking out three and walking one. He got into a bit of trouble in the bottom of the second inning, which included a scary moment when he was hit in the head by a line drive, but he managed to stay in the game and wiggle out of the jam. He has retired the last 10 batters he has faced.
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.