And his eyes are like shimmering pools. His skin the finest alabaster …
Following a scare Monday night regarding “tightness” in Stephen Strasburg’s forearm, Nationals General Manager Mike Rizzo said Tuesday morning that the ace’s right arm is “structurally perfect” and he is not expected to miss a start.
This is good news. Of course Strasburg himself said that he was good to go last night. As we saw last year, though, Strasburg is not the final arbiter of when he’s going to pitch, so team signoff was necessary.
So, if we’ve eliminated the structural problems, what is left to explain the 1-4 record and fewer strikeouts? And the “mechanical glitches” mentioned in the linked article by Boswell and Kilgore?
The Nats have four days to figure it out before he goes back out there again.
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: