After throwing 101 pitches in his fourth and final minor-league rehab start Tim Hudson has been cleared to return from back surgery and the 36-year-old will rejoin the Braves’ rotation Sunday versus the Pirates.
Hudson underwent surgery in November and will slide into the rotation spot created by the Braves demoting Jair Jurrjens to Triple-A earlier this week.
He posted a 3.57 ERA while rehabbing and held minor-league hitters to a .190 batting average, but also had a poor 9/6 K/BB ratio in 10.2 innings. In terms of workload Hudson should be fully stretched out and able to start without any restrictions.
Because of Jurrjens’ demotion rookie Randall Delgado will remain in the rotation as the Braves’ fifth starter.
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: