According to Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News, Rangers outfielder Nelson Cruz was lifted from Saturday’s game against the Red Sox with tightness in his left hamstring.
Hamstring injuries are never good — minor or not — but it’s even worse when Cruz is the man ailing. He’s already spent two extended stints on the disabled list this season with hamstring troubles and could need another trip if a strain is revealed when he is reexamined on Sunday morning.
Cruz has been a monster at the plate this season when healthy and currently boasts a .320/.381/.587 batting line, 16 homers and 64 RBI. But he’s tallied just 287 at-bats while most other regulars are nearing 450. With Vladimir Guerrero also struggling at the dish, the Rangers may have to whether a serious storm in the remaining weeks of August.
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: