The Blue Jays haven’t been able to catch a break with their pitching staff this season, so it makes perfect sense that J.A. Happ is done for the year with an injury to his right foot.
According to Ken Fidlin of the Toronto Sun, Blue Jays manager John Farrell said a fracture was found in the foot after he felt lingering discomfort in his ankle following a play at first base on August 29 against the Yankees.
“We’re not quite sure where it started,” manager John Farrell said. “The play at first base irritated his ankle where he was feeling discomfort at the time. When the discomfort lingered, we had an MRI done and it showed a fracture in the foot. The recommendation is to have surgery and his season is over.”
Happ, who was acquired from the Astros in July in a 10-player trade, posted a 4.69 ERA and 46/17 K/BB ratio in 40 1/3 innings over six starts and four relief appearances with Toronto. The 29-year-old southpaw is the eighth Blue Jays pitcher to go down with a season-ending injury this year, joining Robert Coello, Kyle Drabek, Drew Hutchison, Jesse Litsch, Dustin McGowan, Luis Perez and Sergio Santos.
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: