Are the Red Sox showcasing Mike Lowell or giving him a job?

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Thumbnail image for Mike Lowell headshot.jpgMike Lowell was 2 for 4 with a solo homer, a walk and an RBI single in place of the slumping David Ortiz last night.  And he’s going to get the start again tonight.

Yesterday I mentioned the Red Sox killing three birds with one stone.  Lowell’s hot bat and presence in the lineup against the Rangers is definitely a two-stone job: it gives the team some DH production which was previously absent and it shows the Rangers that the guy they once wanted is healthy and hitting.

I’m not sure that Max Ramirez is still any kind of answer for the Red Sox — that proposed trade was a long time ago and the needs of each team is now different — but you have to wonder if the Rangers (or someone else for that matter) aren’t taking a second look at Mike Lowell.  Texas’ catching situation is a mess, but from chaos often springs opportunity.

That is, if the Red Sox feel that they can afford to give him up. Because if he keeps hitting, he may just take the DH job away from Big Papi.

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: