Adam Wainwright still has another year and $12 million on his contract after this season, but he’s pitched so well returning from Tommy John surgery that the Cardinals are interested in signing him beyond 2013.
Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post Dispatch reports that the front office approached Wainwright about a possible contract extension and the right-hander told them he wants to wait until the season is over for fear of becoming a distraction for the team.
Wainwright initially struggled to regain his form after missing all of last season, taking a 5.77 ERA into mid-May, but since then he’s started 18 games with a 2.87 ERA and 116/22 K/BB ratio in 122 innings. Obviously he needs to stay healthy, but at age 31 he could be one season away from $100 million offers on the open market.
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: