Bengie Molina hadn’t hit a home run since the middle of July, but he just went deep off David Price. That, combined with his earlier RBI single, Francoeur’s double and a Nelson Cruz moon-shot homer makes it 4-0 Rangers entering the 5th.
David Price has not had many outings like this. In fact, Price has only given up four runs in a start three other times this season. The whuppin’ sticks, they are out.
And while I have your attention: while the HBT crew is obviously posting like mad this postseason, mere posts can’t contain us. We’re all on Twitter too, and if you’re looking for snark and observations that may not be completely blog post worthy but are still worth your while, follow us on Twitter, thusly:
And of course, to get constant Twitter updates of all of the HBT posts, follow @HardballTalk. It’s mostly a feed, but sometimes it achieves sentience and says silly things.
Now, back to watching improbably Rangers hitters come up big.
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: