Derrek Lee out of tonight's lineup with bulging disk in back

Leave a comment

Derrek Lee homered in his first two at-bats Sunday, but then left the game in the fifth inning with back soreness and is out of the Cubs’ lineup for tonight’s game with a bulging disk in his lower back.
It’s a tough break for Lee, who had smacked four homers in three games since returning from bereavement leave spent with an ailing grandparent in California. That production could have helped the impending free agent recoup some value in a career-worst season, but a 35-year-old with back problems will be scary to interested teams no matter how well he hits down the stretch.
Xavier Nady is starting at first base tonight against right-hander Kevin Correia and the Padres.

Aaron Judge set a new postseason strikeout record

Getty Images
Leave a comment

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: