Some MLB teams are entering this final day of the regular season with an eye on clinching a playoff spot. Others are hoping to avoid loss No. 101.
The Mariners dropped their 100th game of the season on Saturday night with a 5-3 loss to the A’s at Seattle’s Safeco Field. David Pauley allowed four runs over seven innings, Chone Figgins went 0-for-4, and the M’s were shut down by Oakland starter Brett Anderson.
Seattle manager Daren Brown, who is 19-30 since taking over for Don Wakamatsu in mid-August, spoke to the Everett Herald after the game.
“I don’t look at it as a milestone,” Brown said. “A milestone is
something you’re going to remember.”
The M’s opened this season with hype and promise, but a lack of power plagued them all year long and they were easily out-hit on most nights. Felix Hernandez had a season worthy of Cy Young hardware and guys like Jason Vargas and Doug Fister also pitched well, but Seattle simply couldn’t score runs and will finish the year ranked last in hits, doubles, triples and home runs. General manager Jack Zduriencik will look into changing that this winter.
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: