Albert Pujols went 0-for-4 as the Angels were shut out by the Rays 5-0 on Tuesday. He’s gone hitless in four straight games, matching a career high.
Pujols had five previous streaks of going hitless in four games, the last taking place from Aug. 30-Sept. 3, 2010.
Pujols has also gone eight straight games without an RBI, tying the fourth-longest streak of his career. He went 11 games without an RBI from June 27-July 13, 2001 and from May 15-26, 2010.
This isn’t the first time in his career that Pujols has gotten off to a rocky start, but since he’s with a new team, everything is magnified. If he doesn’t launch his first homer soon — he’s gone 69 at-bats without one — the scrutiny will grow exponentially.
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: