Michael Pineda was expected to return from his 10-game pine tar suspension next Monday and start in the Yankees’ three-game series opener at Angel Stadium. But that definitely won’t happen now.
According to MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch, Pineda suffered a teres major muscle strain Tuesday during a simulated game and will remain sidelined for the next 3-4 weeks. It’s a Grade 1 strain — the least severe — but the teres major muscle runs near the shoulder and Pineda did not appear in the majors in 2012 or 2013 because of a major shoulder injury.
In other words, he is not going to be rushed back.
Pineda had registered a 1.83 ERA, 1.017 WHIP, and 15/3 K/BB ratio through 19 2/3 innings (four starts) this season for the Yanks. David Phelps will now make that Monday start against the Angels.
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.