Recent controversy and this morning’s rumor notwithstanding, there is some good news to report on the Mets’ injury front: they’re trying new things to prevent more of them from happening:
When Mets players walked into the major-league clubhouse here for the
first time Thursday, there were large signs posted in the clubhouse
that read: “Prevention and recovery.”
It is more than just a hopeful slogan.
The Mets are modifying their training program this spring in an
effort to avoid a repeat of the injury-filled disaster of 2009. A team
spokesman told The Star-Ledger that the signs are meant to reinforce
what will be a bigger focus on baseball-related activities and more of
an emphasis on “rest and recovery.”
Players will be urged to save their energy for the field and not
exert themselves too much in the weight room. The emphasis will be more
on baseball skills, agility and flexibility than on building strength.
I’m no doctor, trainer or physical therapist, and thus I have no idea if the sorts of changes described here would have helped prevent the injuries to Jose Reyes, Carlos Beltran, Carlos Delgado and the others, but after the year they had in 2009, any change is probably for the best.
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: