The Reds and Dusty Baker will talk contract extension after the deadline

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This was supposed to be a lame duck year for Dusty Baker — and it still technically is — but given how well the Reds have done this season it was inevitable that at some point the Reds and Dusty would have to talk about a contract extension.  That time will be early August, reports the Cincy Enquirer.

Baker says that he doesn’t want to be a distraction, but also said “I didn’t come here to leave,” and that “You’ve got to agree we’ve made progress.”

Tough spot for the Reds. Dusty does not come cheap and there really was a sense that they expected him to simply manage out his contract and walk.  But dadgummit, winning complicates things sometimes.

*Note: No matter where Dusty ends up, be it the Reds, in a broadcast booth or managing another team, I will probably always use this pic in stories about him because it’s friggin’ awesome. Based on it alone I’d consider penciling him in as my starting right fielder, wouldn’t you?

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: