Report: Rich Harden staying in Chicago

Leave a comment

To the surprise of absolutely no one, Bruce Levine of ESPNChicago.com reports that Rich Harden will remain with the Cubs because the Twins failed to work out a trade after claiming him off waivers.
Harden is an impending free agent, so assuming the Cubs offer him arbitration and he declines they’ll receive draft-pick compensation if he leaves. In other words, they had little reason to trade him unless the Twins were willing to part with multiple solid prospects.
Levine notes that Aaron Heilman will also remain with the Cubs after the Giants were unable to work something out following their waiver claim. Unlike Harden, Heilman remains under the Cubs’ control as an arbitration-eligible player next season and is eligible for free agency in 2011.

Aaron Judge set a new postseason strikeout record

Getty Images
Leave a comment

For a few days, it looked like Aaron Judge was finally hitting his stride in the postseason. He was still striking out at a regular clip, piling more and more strikeouts atop the 16 he racked up in the Division Series, but he was mashing, too. He engineered a three-run homer during Game 3 of the Championship Series, followed by another blast and game-tying double in Game 4. His one-out double helped pad a five-run lead in Game 5, while his 425-footer off of Brad Peacock barely made a dent during a 7-1 loss in Game 6. And then Lance McCullers‘ curveball found and fooled him, as it did five of the 14 batters it met in Game 7:

The strikeout was Judge’s first of the evening and 27th since the start of the playoffs. No other major league batter has racked up that many strikeouts in a single postseason, though Alfonso Soriano’s 26-strikeout record in 2003 comes the closest. Within that record, Judge also collected three golden sombreros (four strikeouts in a single game), narrowly avoiding the dreaded platinum sombrero (five strikeouts in a single game).

It’s an unfortunate footnote to a spectacular year for the rookie outfielder, who decimated the competition with 52 home runs and 8.2 fWAR during the regular season and was a pivotal part of the Yankees’ playoff run. Thankfully, the image of McCullers’ curveball darting just under Judge’s bat won’t be the image that sticks with us for years to come. Instead, it’ll look something like this: