The Rays placed outfielder Desmond Jennings on the 15-day disabled list before tonight’s game with a left knee sprain and recalled utility man Stephen Vogt from Triple-A Durham.
Jennings hasn’t started since last Sunday due to the injury, but since he made a pinch-hit appearance on Friday, he will not be eligible to return until May 27. Of course, given that his knee hasn’t improved over the past few days, the prolonged period of rest might be the best thing for him in the long term.
Jennings, 25, is hitting .265/.333/.398 with three homers, 11 RBI, eight stolen bases, 20 runs scored and a .732 OPS in 31 games this season.
The Rays figure to have an outfield alignment of Matt Joyce, B.J. Upton and Ben Zobrist from left to right on most nights during Jennings’ absence.
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: