The Diamondbacks are on the verge of sending reliever Chad Qualls to the Rays in exchange for a player to be named later. Chad Qualls is 1-4 with an 8.51 ERA and has a salary of over $4 million this year. Word is that the Rays are picking up all that’s left of the salary.
Qualls has been horrendous this year, but his numbers have improved somewhat in the last month. As Aaron noted back in June, there is no reason for him to be as bad as he’s been — he really did just fall off a cliff this year — and it’s possible he had some injury issues early in the season that he wasn’t telling anyone about.
He’s depth for Tampa Bay, I suppose, who aren’t in need of a closer.
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: