The Dodgers acquired Joe Blanton from the Phillies late this afternoon in exchange for a player to be named later or cash considerations. While it’s certainly not the flashiest of moves, the acquisition makes even more sense now that Eric Stephen of True Blue L.A. is reporting that Ted Lilly was scratched from a rehab appearance with High-A Rancho Cucamonga tonight due to a setback with his shoulder.
Lilly went 5-1 with a 3.14 ERA and 31/19 K/BB ratio over his first eight starts this season prior to being placed on the disabled list on May 24 due to left shoulder inflammation. The veteran southpaw tossed two scoreless innings in his first rehab appearance on Sunday, but the shoulder has apparently cropped up again this week. The hope is that he’ll be able to throw a bullpen session at some point in the next few days, but he’s obviously not anywhere close to coming off the disabled list.
As of now, the Dodgers will go with Clayton Kershaw, Chad Billingsley, Chris Capuano, Aaron Harang and Blanton in their rotation. They were reportedly awarded claiming rights today on left-hander Cliff Lee and have three days to complete a trade with the Phillies, but a deal is considered unlikely.
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: