What is it with umpires not knowing the count this year?
Bobby Abreu walked on ball three in the third inning Sunday in the Angels’ 4-2 win over the Mariners.
The walk came with one out and Torii Hunter on first base. Felix Hernandez was able to bounce back and hold the Angels scoreless from there, but he went on to give up a two-run homer to Mark Trumbo in the fourth.
Those were the only two runs Hernandez allowed in a no-decision.
Dan Haren also allowed just two runs, both scoring in the first, in going 8 2/3 innings for his 10th win of the year. The Angels took the lead off David Pauley in the eighth when Alberto Callaspo doubled in two runs.
In a 4-2 game, Haren nearly got the chance to go the distance, even after Dustin Ackley doubled to start the bottom of the ninth. However, after Haren retired Justin Smoak and Adam Kennedy, manager Mike Scioscia opted to replace him with Jordan Walden, who struck out Franklin Gutierrez to record his 20th save.
The Angels moved to 50-42 and remained one game back of the Rangers, who beat the A’s for their seventh straight win Sunday. The Angels swept the Mariners and have won four in a row.
For the Mariners, it was the second time this month that they’ve been the victims of a three-ball walk. San Diego’s Cameron Maybin had one on July 2 and went to score the only run in the Padres’ 1-0 victory.
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: