No-hitters in progress: Justin Verlander through eight, Yovani Gallardo’s is done

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6:43 p.m. EDT: No-hitter! Davis swings and misses at a slider off the plate to end it.

6:41 p.m. EDT: McDonald hits a soft grounder to second for the second out.  Verlander dove for it, lucky not to deflect it to the side and turn it into a hit. Rajai Davis up.

6:39 p.m. EDT: Cooper pops up the first pitch he sees, a 97-mph fastball. One out.

6:38 p.m. EDT: The Tigers scored twice in the top of the ninth, giving Verlander plenty of time to think about things.  He’s back on the mound now. Cooper up.

6:30 p.m. EDT: If he gets through the ninth, Verlander would join Mark Buehrle as the only active pitchers with multiple no-hitters.  One could add Roy Halladay to the list, but his second no-hitter came in the postseason.  Verlander’s previous no-hitter came June 12, 2007 against the Brewers.

6:20 p.m. EDT: Encarnacion grounds into a double play to end the eighth.  Verlander will take a no-hitter into the ninth against David Cooper, John McDonald and Rajai Davis.  Their batting averages: .150, .205 and .177.

6:18 p.m. EDT: A terrific at-bat from Arencibia, who works the walk on the 12th pitch from Verlander.  He had just missed a double down the left-field line earlier in the at-bat.  Perfect game gone, no-hitter intact.

6:10 p.m. EDT: Mike McCoy, J.P. Arencibia and Edwin Encarnacion due up against Verlander in the eighth.  Verlander is six outs away from a perfect game.  It’d be his second career no-hitter.

6:07 p.m. EDT: Gallardo lost his bid in the eighth, as Daniel Descalso singled up the middle to begin the inning.

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And Verlander’s is a perfect game, as he’s gone 21 up, 21 down against the Blue Jays.

Gallardo is at 104 pitches through seven, having walked four and struck out five Cardinals.  He’s working with just a one-run lead, as Kyle Lohse has been strong as well.

Gallardo has been helped by two terrific catches in the outfield, one from Carlos Gomez in the first and the other from Mark Kotsay in right with two on in the fifth.

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: