Finger injury may mark end of Jose Lopez's career in Seattle

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Like most Mariners hitters Jose Lopez has been a huge disappointment this season, batting .240/.271/.340 for a career-worst .610 OPS that ranks dead last in the league and represents a 150-point drop from his 2009 production.
He’s shown almost no improvement in seven seasons with the Mariners, continuing to swing at everything while putting on weight to become a less capable defender. And now his Mariners career may have ended with Lopez suffering a dislocated right middle finger last night, because he’s likely to sit out the final six games and it’s awfully tough to imagine Seattle bringing him back in 2011.
His contract has a $4.25 million team option or $250,000 buyout, so my guess is the Mariners will attempt to trade Lopez to a team that still thinks he has some upside at age 26 and will buy him out if they can’t find a taker. He’s just one year removed from a 25-homer, 96-RBI season, but even that came with a terrible .303 on-base percentage and mediocre .766 OPS.

Aaron Judge was involved in a weird play in the fourth inning

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Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge found himself front-and-center in a weird play in the bottom of the fourth inning during Game 4 of the ALCS on Tuesday evening. Judge drew a walk to lead off the frame. After Didi Gregorius lined out, Gary Sanchez flied out to shallow right-center.

Judge must have thought the ball had a high probability of falling in for a hit, so he was past the second base bag around the time he realized his mistake. He retraced his steps, running back to first base. Reddick’s throw hopped a couple of times but first base umpire Jerry Meals called Judge out on the tag-up play.

Manager Joe Girardi requested a review and the call was overturned: Judge was safe. However, Astros manager A.J. Hinch wanted to challenge that Judge did not re-touch second base on his way back. Rather than issuing a formal challenge, the Astros had to appeal the play by having starter Lance McCullers throw to second base, at which point second base umpire Jim Reynolds would issue a ruling. McCullers was a bit hasty, though, and made his appeal throw before Greg Bird stepped into the batter’s box. Reynolds told McCullers that he had to wait. So, McCullers again made his appeal throw.

This time, Judge was running and he was simply tagged out at second base for the final out of the inning. No need for a review.

As Ken Rosenthal explained on the FS1 broadcast, the Yankees were trying to “beat the police.” They knew Judge would have been ruled out — replays clearly showed he never re-touched the base — so they had nothing to lose by sending Judge. If he was safe, the Astros would no longer be able to appeal the play. If he’s out, then it’s the same outcome they would have had anyway.