The Yankees got a big scare on Wednesday night when second baseman Robinson Cano was beaned in the helmet in the fifth inning by a pitch delivered from Royals reliever Nathan Adcock.
Cano sat on the batter’s box dirt for a few minutes as manager Joe Girardi and team trainer Steve Donohue rushed out to check on him. He didn’t look to be in much pain and even cracked a few grins, but the Yankees decided to pull him from the contest anyway for precautionary reasons.
Backup infielder Eduardo Nunez entered as a pinch-runner and will finish out the game at second base.
Cano will likely be tested for a concussion tonight and then again Thursday morning. The Yankees finish up their three-game series with the Royals on Thursday evening then welcome the Red Sox to town for a weekend series on Friday. It’s not yet known if Cano will need to miss any time.
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: