UPDATE: The deal is official now. Florida receives mid-level prospects Robert Bono and Luis Bryan, plus a player to be named later. And saves a bit of cash, of course.* * * * * * * * * *
Houston has been shopping for bullpen help
after closer Jose Valverde declined arbitration and setup man LaTroy Hawkins signed with the Brewers, and they’re reportedly on the verge of agreeing to a deal with the Marlins for Matt Lindstrom.
Nothing official has been announced yet, but Lindstrom informed
MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro that his agent told him to “hang tight” because the two sides are exchanging medical records.
Florida was looking to deal Lindstrom because he struggled in 2009 and is due for a raise via arbitration, but he had a 3.11 ERA and 105/47 K/BB ratio in 124 innings over the previous two seasons and even the mid-payroll Astros won’t have any trouble handling a price tag around $2 million. Lindstrom has just 20 career saves, but if the trade goes through he’ll almost certainly take over for Valverde as the Astros’ closer and bring his mid-90s fastball to a permanent ninth-inning role.
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: