Brandon McCarthy diagnosed with torn ulnar collateral ligament

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Dodgers right-hander Brandon McCarthy had to leave Saturday’s start with elbow tightness and tests have revealed the worst-case scenario. Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times reports that McCarthy has been diagnosed with a torn ulnar collateral ligament, which means that he’s almost certainly headed for season-ending Tommy John surgery.

McCarthy turned a strong finish with the Yankees last season into a four-year, $48 million contract with the Dodgers over the winter. Some saw that as a risky deal, but his injury history has all been about his shoulder until now. McCarthy had a 5.87 ERA with nine home runs allowed over his first four starts with the Dodgers this season.

McCarthy has a torn ligament in his elbow and now has a lengthy rehab process in front of him, but at least he still has his trademark sense of humor:

We here at HardballTalk look forward to seeing McCarthy back to full strength next season.

The Dodgers are also without Hyun-Jin Ryu at the moment and it’s hard to count on Brett Anderson to stay healthy, so the back-end of their rotation has some big questions. Scott Baker made a spot-start against the Padres yesterday and Joe Wieland and Zach Lee linger as alternatives. Similar to the Cardinals, they could eventually look to the trade market, with Phillies left-hander Cole Hamels a logical possibility.

On a night full of letdowns, Yankees’ defense let them down the most

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Game 4 of the ALCS was a gigantic letdown for the Yankees for myriad reasons. They lost, first and foremost, 8-3 to the Astros to fall behind three games to one. Their fans continued to act boorishly. CC Sabathia exited with an injury, likely the final time he’ll pitch in his career. The offense went 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position.

The biggest letdown of the night, though, was the Yankees’ defense. They committed four errors, their highest total in a postseason game since committing five errors in Game 2 of the 1976 ALCS.

Make no mistake: the two three-run home runs hit by George Springer and Carlos Correa, given up by Masahiro and Chad Green respectively, were the big blows in the game. But the errors contributed to the loss and were downright demoralizing.

The first error came at the start of the top of the sixth inning, when Alex Bregman hit a cue shot to first baseman DJ LeMahieu. LeMahieu couldn’t read the bounce and the ball clanked off of his knee, allowing Bregman to reach safely. He would score later in the inning on Correa’s blast.

The Yankees committed two errors in the top of the eighth, leading to a run. Yuli Gurriel hit another grounder to LeMahieu, which he couldn’t handle. That not only allowed Gurriel to reach safely, but Bregman — who led off with a double — moved to third base. He would score when second baseman Gleyber Torres couldn’t handle a Yordan Álvarez grounder.

Error number four occurred when Altuve hit a grounder to Torres to lead off the top of the ninth. The ball skipped right under his glove. Facing Michael Brantley, Jonathan Loaisiga uncorked a wild pitch which advanced Altuve to second base. Brantley followed up with a line drive single to left field, plating Altuve for another run. Loaisiga would throw another wild pitch facing Bregman but that one didn’t come back to haunt him.

The Yankees can’t control injuries, the behavior of their fans, or how good the Astros’ pitching is on any given night. They can control the quality of their defense. On Thursday, it was a farce, and now they’re staring down the barrel of having to win three consecutive games against the Astros to stave off elimination.