If the Netherlands can win their semi-final game and advance to the World Baseball Classic finals they’ll likely add Dodgers reliever Kenley Jansen to the roster.
Jansen told Ken Gurnick of MLB.com that it’s “95 percent” he’d join the team despite offseason surgery for an irregular heartbeat. He’d stay in Dodgers camp until Sunday, fly to San Francisco for the WBC, and then fly back to Dodgers camp by Wednesday.
Dodgers manager Don Mattingly likes the idea: “He’s not missing anything and, actually, we think this will be good for him. He’ll get into competition and it will be a good scenario, as far as the competition and energy level, and the fact it will only be a couple of days.”
Before any of that happens the Netherlands would first have to defeat the Pool 2 winner in a game Monday night. Rangers prospect Jurickson Profar has already been added to the roster for that game.
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: