For the second time in a week the Brewers have lost an everyday player to a torn ACL.
First baseman Mat Gamel will miss the remainder of the season after blowing out his knee on May 2 and now shortstop Alex Gonzalez has been diagnosed with a torn ACL suffered Saturday.
Season-ending surgery is likely, but the Brewers announced that Gonzalez will rest for a week before making an official decision. As a 35-year-old whose hitting isn’t good enough to keep him in the majors if his range and athleticism decline Gonzalez could be facing the end of his career.
Cesar Izturis will take over as Milwaukee’s starting shortstop and like Gonzalez his value is almost all dependent on defense, as the 32-year-old hasn’t topped a .650 OPS since 2004 and missed most of last season with elbow and groin injuries.
And at some point soon the Brewers will probably be in the market for a first baseman and a shortstop.
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: