Adam Dunn had to leave today’s Nats-Marlins game due to back spasms. According to Bill Ladson, he hurt his back trying to make a defensive play in the top of the second inning.
Dunn says he’ll be fine and will probably play tomorrow, but add this to the ever-growing list of bad things that have happened as a result of Adam Dunn being forced to play defense. The list of good things that have happened will begin to be compiled the moment anything good happens.
Those alien archaeologists I mentioned in the Snuggie post? Yeah, well, they’ll have historian friends with them who will spend years trying to figure out how it was that Adam Dunn played thousands of baseball games in his career without ever being a member of an American League team.
Wait, that’s not true. Beings that perfect interstellar travel will have highly advanced, highly rational minds. The sort of minds that will never consider that a major sports league created something as ridiculously awful as the designated hitter.
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: