And the dude still went 4 for 5. Mark Zuckerman of CSNWashington.com:
He received an IV before the game. He had to excuse himself during the second inning to go vomit. He felt his head spinning every time he tried to swing a bat. He had to hunch over several times after running the bases.
And he gave a bunch of “doing what I can to help the ballclub” quotes afterward. So he’s a pro on the field and in the clubhouse despite his bodily fluids not wanting to stay where they’re supposed to.
I know there’s a hidden data problem at work here — we notice when things happen but don’t notice when they don’t happen –but I’m always amazed by these stories about athletes having great games with the flu. I read something once, can’t for the life of me remember where, where an athlete tried to explain a good night he had with the flu. His answer was some version of “the only thing that kept me from wanting to barf and die was focusing on what I was doing at the moment.” I don’t know if there’s anything to that. But it sort of sounds like how focusing on a TV show or something helps you forget when you’re laid up in bed with some bug.
Except, unlike us, athletes actually can do things besides watch “The Price is Right.”
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: