Javier Vazquez was fantastic again

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Javier Vazquez headshot.jpgFor the second time in as many starts Javier Vazquez was on point: one hit over seven innings with nine strikeouts. More important than the line itself is the fact that he kept the Yankees in a game in which they were being shut down by Brandon League Morrow, helping the Bombers salvage their lost weekend in Toronto.

Vazquez is 3-2 with a 2.45 ERA in his past five starts and opposing hitters are
batting .171 against him over that time. He still has a ways to go to drag his stats out of the hole he dug for himself early in the season, but the Yankees appear to have finally gotten the starter they thought they were trading for over the winter.

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: