Mark Lowe aims to be available if Rangers make World Series

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Mark Lowe hasn’t pitched since September 21 because of a hamstring injury, being left off the Rangers’ roster for the ALDS and ALCS, but the right-hander is still trying to make his way back in case Texas reaches the World Series.

Drew Davison of the Fort Worth Star Telegram reports that Lowe threw off a mound yesterday for the first time since suffering the injury three weeks ago.

Because of the Rangers’ fantastic bullpen depth they don’t exactly need Lowe back, but he threw 45 innings with a 3.80 ERA and 42/19 K/BB ratio during the regular season and averaged 96.8 miles per hour with his fastball.

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: