Given what has happened with Jim Riggleman and Ozzie Guillen this year, the Mets weren’t going to let Terry Collins enter next season with his contract status in doubt. They picked up the manager’s option for 2013 on Tuesday.
While the Mets are 76-84 despite a big payroll, Collins’ first year on the job has been viewed as a success. Just keeping the team in the neighborhood of .500 through a mountain of injuries has been quite an accomplishment. Collins has kept the team focused in spite of the Francisco Rodriguez and Carlos Beltran trades and injuries to most of the team’s regulars. Incredibly enough, not one Met will end the year having playing in 130 games. Jose Reyes and Willie Harris are the team leaders, having played in 124 games.
Collins, 62, returned to managing this year after an 11-year absence. He’s 520-518 in seven years overall, having led both the Astros and the Angels for three years apiece in the 1990s.
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: