MLB announces postseason schedule, eliminates off days

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Except for travel days, there will be no off days in this year’s postseason schedule.  MLB announced the postseason dates today, with the ALDSs beginning on Friday, Sept. 30, followed by the NLDSs on Saturday, Oct. 1.

In order to best separate the games for TV coverage, MLB had previously scheduled certain divisional series with extra off days.  Now all four series are set to play their five scheduled games over seven days.  That means that Oct. 1 and 4 are scheduled to feature four games apiece, though Oct. 4 would have fewer games if either ALDS ends in a sweep.

All Divisional Series games are scheduled to air on TBS.

The Championship Series games are scheduled to run from Oct. 8-17.  The ALCS will air on FOX, while the NLCS will air on TBS.

The World Series will air on FOX and is scheduled to begin Oct. 19.  If the series requires seven games, it will conclude on Oct. 27.

It will be the earliest conclusion to the World Series since at least 2008.  Last year, World Series Game 1 was played on Oct. 27.  The season ended with Game 5 on Nov. 1.  In 2009, the season ended on Nov. 4.

Aaron Judge set a new postseason strikeout record

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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: