The Phillies hadn’t scored a run in 30 innings dating back to Sunday until Raul Ibanez knocked in Ryan Howard with a fourth-inning triple on Friday night. The Phillies added two more runs and defeated the Marlins 3-2 to end a five-game losing streak.
Shane Victorino had my favorite quote of the night (via Martin Frank of the News Journal):
“We were all excited,” Phillies center fielder Shane Victorino said. “We forgot what it was like. We were shaking hands and I forgot
what it was like to high-five guys after a game. My hands were
With the win, the Phillies maintained their 1 1/2 game lead over the Braves in the National League East, but it wasn’t all good news on Friday night. According to Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com, Placido Polanco will undergo an MRI before Saturday’s game, the result of lingering soreness in his left elbow after being plunked by Tim Hudson on April 21. Still, Polanco is batting .313/.352/.469 with three homers and eight RBI through 96 at-bats this month.
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: