J.A. Happ was released from the hospital yesterday after he was hit in the head by a line drive during Tuesday’s start against the Rays. While the most important thing is that he’s going to be OK, the Blue Jays are going to have to get by without him for a little while.
According to Gregor Chisholm of MLB.com, Happ is expected to be sidelined for 4-6 weeks. The 30-year-old left-hander suffered a head contusion and a small fracture behind his left ear as a result of the comebacker, but he is also dealing with a sprained right knee.
The current plan calls for Happ to be idle for about one week before he starts throwing off flat ground. If all goes according to plan, he could be back in Toronto’s rotation in the early part of June. Pretty remarkable given the scary nature of Tuesday’s incident.
Happ has a 4.91 ERA and 26/19 K/BB ratio in 33 innings over seven starts this season. He owns a 4.23 ERA in the majors.
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.