Brad Mills remains Astros manager despite ownership and front office shakeup

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When the Astros fired general manager Ed Wade there was speculation this his replacement might let manager Brad Mills go and bring in his own guy, but new GM Jeff Luhnow made it clear that won’t happen.

“Brad’s our manager,” Luhnow told Brian McTaggart of MLB.com. “I had a good conversation with him, and I’m looking forward to working with him as our manager.”

Mills has a 132-192 record in two seasons in Houston, losing 86 games in 2010 and an MLB-high 106 games in 2011, but new owner Jim Crane described him as “a good developer of talent and that’s what we need.”

Lack of talent has certainly been a much bigger issue than Mills and with the Astros set for another ugly season in 2012 it makes sense for Luhnow to get settled in the job and reevaluate things next winter.

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: