UPDATE: There goes that. Garcia was able to get Prince Fielder to ground out to Albert Pujols at first base, but walked Casey McGehee and gave up a clean single to Yuniesky Betancourt. Perfect game over. No-hitter over.
9:57 PM: We already had Derek Lowe carry a no-hitter into the seventh inning tonight, but something pretty special is brewing in St. Louis right now.
Cardinals left-hander Jaime Garcia has a perfect game through seven innings against the Brewers this evening. The Cards lead the game 6-0.
Garcia has eight strikeouts so far, but has been very economical by throwing 51 out of 75 pitches for strikes. MLB’s last perfect game was thrown by Roy Halladay last May 29.
The Brewers will send Prince Fielder, Casey McGehee and Yuniesky Betancourt to the plate in the top of the eighth inning. Stay tuned to see if Garcia can make history.
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: