Is it just me, or have there been an abnormal amount of head injuries lately?
Carlos Gomez is just one of the latest victims. He was hit in the helmet by a pitch from Cubs right-hander Brian Schlitter on Monday night. After being held out of the lineup for the past two games, the Brewers placed Gomez on the disabled list Friday with a concussion, according to Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.
Gomez was scheduled to undergo testing Thursday to evaluate whether he was ready to return to the lineup, so it sounds like the Brewers are playing it safe here. As they should.
All Brewers fans surely wish Gomez the best, but one interesting wrinkle is that 24-year-old outfielder Lorenzo Cain will replace him on the 25-man roster. Gomez’s struggles combined with a resurgent season for Cain with Triple-A Nashville have many wondering who the center fielder of the future will be. Cain only managed five at-bats during a brief three-game stint with the club last month, but he should get a long look now.
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: