More talk of the Marlins being interested in Carlos Zambrano

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Connecting all the dots, Florida’s interest in Carlos Zambrano sounds pretty real.

As soon as Ozzie Guillen became the Marlins’ manager last month there was speculation about him convincing the team to trade for his friend and last week El Nacional in Venezuela reported that Guillen has already reached out to Zambrano.

And now Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald writes that the Marlins “have interest in acquiring” Zambrano “if Chicago picks up a large chunk of his $18 million salary for 2012 and doesn’t expect a lot in return.”

It’s hard to imagine the Cubs not being willing to eat most of that money in exchange for a mid-level prospect at this point, so if Guillen and the Marlins want Zambrano there’s definitely a deal to be made. Zambrano was obviously a huge headache in Chicago and his on-field performance has declined as well, but for a one-year commitment at, say, $8 million he could be a worthwhile gamble with Guillen in the mix.

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: