Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen is shaking up his lineup in an effort to jump-start an offense which has scored only six runs during their current six-game losing streak.
After getting the day off yesterday, Jose Reyes has been dropped down to second in the order tonight against the Diamondbacks. He’ll be flip-flopped with center fielder Emilio Bonifacio, who will bat leadoff against right-hander Ian Kennedy.
Signed to be a catalyst for the top of the Marlins’ lineup, Reyes is hitting just .205/.263/.329 with five doubles, two triples, four stolen bases and a .591 OPS over his first 80 plate appearances this season. The 28-year-old went 1-for-12 in his return to New York earlier this week and has just three hits over his last 23 at-bats.
Reyes has 44 career starts out of the No. 2 spot, but this is his first since July 10, 2010. History suggests the lineup tweak will be a temporary one.
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: