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Dan Warthen: Noah Syndergaard can return sooner if Mets use him out of the bullpen

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Mets pitching coach Dan Warthen thinks the team can get Noah Syndergaard back from the disabled list sooner if they use him out of the bullpen initially, SNY reports. Syndergaard has been on the DL since the start of May due to a partial tear of his right lat muscle.

“If we decide we want to go get Syndergaard back earlier but use him as a one-inning guy, we’ll all talk about that,” Warthen said.

Syndergaard is expected to begin a throwing program within the next two weeks. A realistic timetable has Syndergaard returning in mid-August. The 39-47 Mets entered the All-Star break in fourth place in the NL East, 12 games behind the Nationals and 10.5 games behind the second Wild Card slot.

The 24-year-old right-hander hit the DL with a 3.29 ERA and a 32/2 K/BB ratio in 27 1/3 innings.

Video: Albert Almora, Jr. saved by the ivy

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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.