Padres' lead down to one game as losing streak hits 10

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After beating the Diamondbacks on August 25 the Padres had a 76-49 record and 6.5-game lead in the NL West. They’d won three games in a row and 13 of their last 16, and their odds of winning the division were over 90 percent.
And they haven’t won since, dropping their 10th consecutive game yesterday while being swept by the Rockies. San Diego’s lead in the division is down to one game over San Francisco and 4.5 games over Colorado, and now various projections have their NL West-winning odds at around 55-60 percent.
Only two teams in baseball history have made the playoffs after a 10-game losing streak, with the most recent being the 1982 Braves and the most famous being Bobby Thomson and the 1951 Giants.
Also working against the Padres is a very tough remaining schedule that includes six straight series against above-.500 teams before finishing the season with a four-game set against the Cubs. They’ll try to snap the streak tonight against the Dodgers, in San Diego, and then face the Giants, Rockies, Cardinals, Dodgers again, and Reds.
In other words, there will be no backing into the playoffs for the year’s most surprising contenders.

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: