Another rite of spring: puffing up the value of some new acquisition. Here’s Astros’ GM Ed Wade on what new third baseman Pedro Feliz brings to the table:
Feliz started at third base in the past two
World Series with Philadelphia, and also appeared in the 2002 Series
with San Francisco. He’s played in 10 postseason series and 37 playoff
games in his career.
“If other players are paying attention, they can
just see that this guy has been through the battles, he knows what it
takes to get to the finish line,” Astros general manager Ed Wade said.
“Having been there and having that understanding of what it takes to
get there is a big plus, and other players can feed off that.”
If simply hanging around winners brought value, teams would have lined up to sign Luis Sojo, Clay Bellinger, Mark Lemke or Charlie Silvera back in the day, all of whom, by Wade’s definition, knew “what it took to get to the finish line.”
Here in the real world people know that, unless he brought Ryan Howard, Chase Utley or Barry Bonds to Houston with him in his suitcase, Pedro Feliz’s postseason experience isn’t going to do much of anything to hep the Astros.
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: