Cardinals manager Mike Matheny will leave camp in Jupiter, Florida to head back to St. Louis for a procedure on his ailing back. MLB.com’s Jenifer Langosch has the details:
The procedure, which is called a microdisectomy, will help alleviate the pain that has been caused by a ruptured disc. A fragment from the disc that is pressing against a nerve will be removed.
Matheny will miss the club’s games on Monday and Tuesday but is expected to return to Jupiter, Fla., on Wednesday, which is an off day for the team.
In Matheny’s absence, bench coach Mike Aldrete will become the active manager. First base coach Chris Maloney takes Aldrete’s spot as bench coach, and Memphis Redbirds manager Ron Warner takes Maloney’s spot at first base.
Matheny, who has not only suffered from back problems but countless concussions as well, was in the news recently as an advocate for improving catcher safety.
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.