Cody Ross plays hero as Red Sox top White Sox

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Cody Ross badly wanted a multiyear deal as a free agent over the winter. The Red Sox probably wish they had given one.

Ross’s 16th homer of the season was a three-run shot off White Sox closer Addison Reed in the bottom of the ninth Thursday, giving the Red Sox all of their runs in a 3-1 win.

It was Ross’s third three-run homer in two days. He’s scored 44 runs and driven in 50 despite being limited to 63 games this season. Last year, he had 14 homers, 54 runs scored and 52 RBI in 121 games for the Giants.

As true to his usual norms, most of Ross’s production has come against lefties, as he’s hit them at an outstanding .328/.410/.836 clip with nine homers this season. However, he’s been plenty solid while getting more time against righties that originally expected, with Wednesday’s homer giving him seven in 153 at-bats and raising his average to .248.

Ross has also become a fan favorite at Fenway, with 11 of his homers coming at home. He seems to like Boston as much as it likes him, so one wonders if the Red Sox will try sign him to an extension before the end of the season. He’s making a modest $3 million this year, down from $6.3 million in his final year with the Giants. If he’s willing to do a two-year, $12 million deal, the Red Sox could forget the luxury-tax ramifications and go ahead and lock him up.

Aaron Judge set a new postseason strikeout record

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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: