From Jay Greenberg of MLB.com comes word that Phillies third baseman Placido Polanco has experienced renewed back soreness after trying to take batting practice the past two days.
Polanco has been sidelined since July 4 with a bulging disk. He tried to play down the severity of the injury at first, not landing on the disabled list until July 15, but it seems now that he’s coming to grips with the fact that he must rest. The Phillies are said to be doubtful that the 35-year-old will feel well enough to be activated Wednesday, the first day he’s eligible.
“It’s sore,” Polanco said. “It might be just because I hadn’t hit for three days and that’s the reason. I don’t know. I’m not going to hit [Sunday] — let it calm down and see how it feels.”
The 14-year veteran is batting .274/.331/.346 with 11 doubles and four homers in 83 games this season. Wilson Valdez and Michael Martinez have been sharing starting duties at the hot corner in his absence.
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: