From Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain-Dealer comes word that the Indians have activated slugger Travis Hafner from the 15-day disabled list. He’s serving as the Tribe’s DH and batting fourth in Sunday’s series finale against the White Sox.
Hafner missed a little over two weeks with a strained muscle in his foot. The injury hasn’t completely healed, and Hafner is likely to need surgery in the offseason to repair it, but he’ll fight through the discomfort in an attempt to give the Tribe an offensive spark down the stretch. Look for him to share time at designated hitter with Jim Thome.
Hafner, 34, is batting .280/.363/.447 with 11 homers and 49 RBI in 83 games this season.
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: