Because of U2 — who, if you try hard enough, can be blamed for most of what has happened for the past 25 years or so — the Marlins/Mariners series, originally scheduled for Sun Life Stadium in Miami this weekend is being played in Seattle. But, as was the case when the Blue Jays/Phillies got moved to Citizens Bank Park last year, the out-of-town team will be the home team.
And heck, maybe the Mariners will feel more like the road team anyway. This series was supposed to be part of an east coast swing for them, so their travel schedule breaks down like this: Philly, Washington, and then back to Seattle to face the Marlins and Braves. The Marlins’ travel plans are less jerky. They were at home in this last series against Anaheim, but they were going to be heading out west to face Oakland in the series that starts on Tuesday anyway. With their day off yesterday — which the Mariners didn’t get — their travel was much less taxing.
Still, I don’t know that it’s enough of a handicap to make up for the fact that Marlins have to play a “home” series several thousand miles from home. In order to even things up more, I believe that the Mariners players should have to stay in a hotel in downtown Seattle, while the Marlins get free run of the Mariners’ players’ homes, cars and whatnot.*
*The whatnot is negotiable on a family by family basis and really is none of our business.
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: