A mere half hour ago I pondered who the Cubbies might move to the bullpen. In that post I said “lord knows that Carlos Zambrano does not exactly have the temperament
to live down in the pen.”
So naturally, the Cubs are moving Carlos Zambrano to the bullpen. That report comes from Paul Sullivan of the Tribune. According to Sullvian, Big Z is “cool with the move.” Because “cool” is what describes Carlos Zambrano.
Indeed, if there is one trait that I would say typifies a relief pitcher it’s grace under pressure and the ability to let go of setbacks moments — or at the very most a day — after one happens. I love me some Carlos Zambrano, but that’s a trait the fellow does not have.
On Hotstove.com this afternoon I said something to the effect of the Cubs being a miserable team to watch lately. They suddenly just got more interesting.
UPDATE: Lou Piniella says this may not be a merely temporary move and that “This makes all the sense in the world.” I’ve always had a mild suspicion that Piniella might leave the game wearing a straight jacket as opposed to his uniform. It may actually be coming to pass.
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: