Buried in Nick Cafardo’s notes column from yesterday is this small nugget: “Prediction: Jacoby Ellsbury will be dealt in the offseason.” Which doesn’t make a lot of sense to me because Mike Cameron is not going to live forever and the Sox need someone to play in the outfield, but there you are.
He could simply be guessing, but seeing the prediction just laid out like that with little explanation around it makes me think that Cafardo is passing along something he heard from team management. I wonder if it’s the same team sources that seem to be telling all the Boston writers to push the “Ellsbury is soft line.” Because we’ve seen a bit of that recently as well.
The Sox used to have a reputation for burying a guy in the media and then shipping him out. They don’t seem to do that much anymore because they’re all respectable and professional now and everything, but one wonders if this isn’t happening with Ellsbury.
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: