The Mariners announced this evening that outfielder Michael Saunders has been placed on the 15-day disabled list with a right shoulder sprain. Endy Chavez has been called up from Triple-A Tacoma to replace him on the roster.
Saunders suffered the injury last night against the Astros when he crashed into the right field fence while catching a ball off the bat of Jose Altuve. While he’ll be sidelined for at least the next 15 days, he told Larry Stone of the Seattle Times that he hopes to not miss much time.
The Mariners are going with Michael Morse, Franklin Gutierrez and Raul Ibanez from right to left in the outfield tonight against Rangers’ right-hander Justin Grimm. Jason Bay, who beat out Casper Wells for a roster spot during spring training, should get some starts against southpaws. The newly-added Chavez will spell Gutierrez in center field if he needs a day off.
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: