The Padres, who entered today’s game with a major league-worst .219 batting average, collected 23 hits Wednesday in a 13-6 win over the Brewers.
It was the third most hits in franchise victory. They had 24 hits on April 19, 1982 against the Giants and on Aug. 12, 2003 against the Braves (in a Greg Maddux start).
Jason Bartlett and Cameron Maybin led the way with four hits apiece. Chris Denorfia and Ryan Ludwick both had three hits and homered. Denorfia also had two of the Padres’ three walks on the day.
Two-hit games were achieved by Alberto Gonzalez, starting pitcher Tim Stauffer and Brad Hawpe. Hawpe, who didn’t start, had both of his as part of the Padres’ eight-run eighth inning.
By going 23-for-42 in the game, they raised their collective team average 11 points to .230. Now the Nationals have the game’s worst average at .222.
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: