With the Mariners off to another bad start and seemingly headed for their fourth straight losing season Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com writes that general manager Jack Zduriencik “is running out of time.”
In talking to Rosenthal the GM stressed that patience is required because so much of his effort has involved building up the farm system and those prospects aren’t all ready yet. And he’s right, because the Mariners do have a bunch of high-upside young players nearly ready for the majors, but several supposedly high-upside players who were acquired by Zduriencik have been flops in the majors.
Since hiring Zduriencik as GM in October of 2008 the Mariners are 297-375 (.442), he’s already fired a manager and shaken up the front office, and various attempts at landing a high-profile free agent have failed. It might be that manager Eric Wedge gets fired before Zduriencik, because that’s how things tend to go, but right now the entire organization looks headed for a reboot this offseason.
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.