Angels general manager Jerry Dipoto continues to search for bullpen help after missing out on Japanese reliever Kyuji Fujikawa.
Fujikawa chose the Cubs, perhaps in part because he wanted a chance to be a closer and the Angels had just signed Ryan Madson to more or less fill that role.
Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com says Dipoto’s fallback plan includes left-hander Sean Burnett and right-hander Mike Adams, both of whom have been excellent setup men for years. Joakim Soria was another Dipoto target, but like Fujikawa he may not be an option for the Angels because he wants to close.
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.