Two weeks ago Ozzie and Kenny were at each other’s throats and everyone was trying to figure out exactly when Mark Buehrle and A.J.Pierzynski would reach 10-5 status and be able to block the fire sale trades that seemed inevitable.
It’s amazing what a little winning can do to put the kibosh on all of that.
The White Sox won again last night, giving them their 11th win in 12 games. They’re now a game over .500 and a mere 4.5 games behind first place Minnesota. Instead of that fire sale, the White Sox are toying with the notion of adding people. Kenny Williams:
“This team has responded and showed some resiliency. Those efforts
should be commended and acknowledged in the form that, ‘Ok, they are
going to keep pushing, we have to see what the possibilities are out
there to help them out. There’s a lot to weigh in and over the next number of weeks, this team
will show me more of either consistent play or more of the inconsistent
play that has been prevalent. To me, you keep pushing and trying to add
to the puzzle until you are forced not to.”
Those comments have to be read in light of Ozzie Guillen’s motivational spiel from a few weeks ago, which basically went “we need to win, fellas, so Kenny Williams doesn’t have a reason to trade anyone.”
Too early to say if the Sox will stick in it for long, but so far, Ozzie’s ploy is working.
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: