The Brewers are the surprise team of 2017 so far. They are 48-40, are guaranteed to be in first place in the NL Central at the All-Star Break and just beat the rival Cubs last night. Now, reports Jon Morosi, they’re prepared to be deadline buyers:
It’ll be interesting to see how Milwaukee proceeds. They have some decent prospects, but their thinking heading into the year had to have been that it was a building year, not a year in which they’d truly be competitive. GMs make the big bucks to pivot like that, however. If they can keep their foot on the throat of the Cubs via the addition of a starting pitcher, they should probably look to do it. It’s not going to be often, I suspect, for this Cubs team to struggle like this in the next several years, so perhaps the Brewers should take advantage of it.
As for Quintana and Gray: they’re not likely to be cheap given that they are under team control for multiple years (Quintana via options through 2020), but that also makes it less of a short term gamble for Milwaukee.
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.