As noted by the Associated Press, third baseman Pablo Sandoval led his Venezuelan Winter League team — Navegantes del Magallanes — to an 11-9 win on Wednesday night in the final game of the league’s championship series. It was the first league title for Navegantes del Magallanes since 2002.
Sandoval batted .300 with three home runs and nine RBI in the seven-game series, earning MVP honors. He told reporters afterward that it felt “very special to be champion” in his native country’s premier league.
“This time I did everything I could so that the Giants would let me play, to take this team to the title. It’s a dream come true,” Sandoval said Wednesday. “I feel very happy to have contributed and to have been selected as MVP.”
Sandoval was named the World Series MVP in October when the Giants took down the Tigers.
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.