Brian Roberts nearing rehab assignment

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Brian Roberts finally made it back from the concussions that threatened to ruin his career only to suffer a hamstring injury that required surgery, but the Orioles second baseman is getting close to returning from that as well.

Roberts is five weeks removed from surgery and has started traveling with the Orioles at his request because “it gives you more motivation” and “it keeps you so much more involved.”

Of course, he’ll leave the team once he’s cleared to actually begin a minor-league rehab assignment, but Rich Dubroff of CSNBaltimore.com reports that there’s no timetable for that yet. Roberts has said that once the rehab stint does start he expects it to be a brief one, although given his recent health track record it would be tough to blame for the Orioles if they wanted him to spend more than just a few games in the minors.

Aaron Judge set a new postseason strikeout record

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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: