The Denver Post reports that Chad Bettis is scheduled to begin a minor league rehab assignment during the All-Star break.
Bettis, you may recall, underwent surgery last November for testicular cancer. He missed the start of the season after the cancer spread. He underwent chemotherapy but he has ramped up his throwing program and completed a bullpen session on Saturday. He’ll throw batting practice when the Rockies return home this week. Assuming all goes well, he’ll be cleared to return to game action.
Bettis has posted a 4.57 ERA (105 ERA+) in 52 starts between 2014-2015. His return would be a boost to the Rockies’ rotation in and of itself, but his return from cancer treatment would be far more inspirational than that.
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.