UPDATE: Jayson Werth is out of the lineup again

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Charlie Manuel headshot.jpgUPDATE: Snipping, sniping, whatever: Jayson Werth is sitting for a second straight day.  Ben Francisco gets the call in right against Josh Johnson and the Marlins.

Not sure I’d read a ton into this. Werth is only 3 for 11 against Johnson with zero extra base hits, so maybe he’s not the right guy for Werth to break out of a slump against, ya know?

12:11 P.M: Charlie Manuel, when asked if he thinks Jayson Werth’s struggles have anything to do with this being his big free agency year:

“I think something like that has to. It has to. I definitely think that. I
think everyone is like that. Even if a guy is quiet, I know it does. I
know in his mind that he thinks like that. He really got off to a
tremendous start and when things started going a little bad for him, he
thinks about it. But he’s going to be fine.”

Jayson Werth’s response:

“I don’t think anybody can sit there and say what I’m thinking. I play hard every night. I hustle. I play to win. Thinking about
my contract is the last thing on my mind.”

“Say, don’t get sore, see.” Charlie Manuel probably said afterward, diffusing the situation.

Werth sat out for the second time in a week last night.  The Marlins won’t be around every day to give victories away, so he had best get on the stick if the Phillies are to break out of their funk.

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: