After his latest poor start last night reporters asked Ryan Vogelsong if he expected to make his next turn in the Giants’ rotation and he responded: “Why wouldn’t I?”
They were asking because the 35-year-old has a 7.78 ERA in 39 innings and moments earlier in the same clubhouse manager Bruce Bochy was less than committed to keeping him locked in every fifth day, saying:
These are things we’ll talk about internally. Right now I’m not ready to discuss that. He’s healthy. We have options, we’ll leave it at that.
That’ll be news to Vogelsong and of course there’s an argument to be made that he’s been good enough for long enough that the Giants should give him an opportunity to work out of the slump. Andrew Baggarly of CSNBayArea.com notes that at the very least the Giants could use an upcoming off day to bump back Vogelsong’s next start, although that would line him up to pitch next at Coors Field.
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: