Kevin Baxter of the Los Angeles Times reports that rehabbing Angels reliever Ryan Madson tossed a bullpen session Saturday for the first time since undergoing a procedure last week to remove scar tissue from his surgically-repaired right elbow.
Madson felt fine during the mound workout, but there is still no timetable for his 2013 debut. He underwent Tommy John surgery in April 2012 and has run into multiple setbacks in his rehab. The Angels signed him to a one-year, $3.5 million free agent contract this past winter and were hoping to use him as their primary ninth-inning man, but that job has stayed with Ernesto Frieri.
Madson, 32, had a 2.37 ERA and 62 strikeouts in 60 2/3 innings as the Phillies’ closer in 2011.
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.