As expected, the Nationals have decided to stick with Davey Johnson as manager.
General manager Mike Rizzo went through the interview process with other candidates, but various reports pegged Johnson as the man for the job for weeks now and the Nationals simply held off making things official until after the World Series.
Rizzo said in a statement that “it became obvious that the Nationals would be best served” with Johnson, who managed the team to a 40-43 record after taking over at midseason following Jim Riggleman’s sudden exit. At the time Riggleman stepped down the Nationals were 38-37.
Johnson is the oldest manager in baseball at age 69 and took more than a decade off from managing after leaving the Dodgers in 2000, but his contract also includes a team option for 2013.
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: