Despite having played in only 36 games this season, Blue Jays third baseman Josh Donaldson is neck-and-neck with the Twins’ Miguel Sano and the Indians’ Jose Ramirez in All-Star voting. According to MLB.com’s Joe Trezza, Donaldson trails Sano by a little over 93,000 votes and Ramirez by less than 60,000.
Blue Jays play-by-play broadcaster Mike Wilner spoke to Donaldson about his All-Star candidacy and the 2015 AL MVP was candid. He said, “I’m not an All-Star, look at my numbers.”
Donaldson has hit .265/.366/.508 with eight home runs and 20 RBI in 153 plate appearances. Comparatively, Ramirez and Sano have been to the plate twice as often. Ramirez has hit .322/.377/.557 with 12 home runs, 36 RBI, and nine stolen bases while Sano has hit .274/.375/.548 with 18 home runs and 53 RBI.
Of course, since fans are voting, this is not a meritocracy; it’s a popularity contest. If Donaldson gets a strong late push, he very well could be starting for the American League at third base in the All-Star Game.
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.