Rangers offense in early slumber

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The 2010 Blue Jays probably won’t end up being known for their pitching or their defense (or their offense, for that matter), but the team came within a Jason Frasor blown save of sweeping the Rangers to open the season.
Three games in, the Rangers have just two guys hitting their weight. Vladimir Guerrero, who always tore up Texas pitching as a member of the Angels, has found his new uni very comfortable, as he’s opened up 7-for-11 with a homer. Nelson Cruz, who has hit fifth right behind Guerrero in the lineup, has two homers, two doubles and five RBI in his 10 at-bats.
And that’s pretty much it. No other Ranger has more than one hit this season. The group is a combined 5-for-74 with two RBI against Shaun Marcum, Brian Tallet, Ricky Romero and four members of the Toronto pen.
The usual first three hitters in the lineup are 1-for-30. Julio Borbon is 0-for-12. Michael Young is 1-for-10. Josh Hamilton, who didn’t start Thursday, is 0-for-8 with six strikeouts.
So what’s next? A home series against Seattle in which the Rangers will face Jason Vargas, Felix Hernandez and Ian Snell. The depleted lineup missing Ian Kinsler and Jarrod Saltalamacchia better get something done Friday, as all Felix did last year was go 2-0 with a 0.86 ERA in three starts at Rangers ballpark.

Aaron Judge set a new postseason strikeout record

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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: