Jeremy Hellickson dominates as Rays end Blue Jays’ winning streak at 11 games

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The streak is over. Jeremy Hellickson allowed just one hit over seven scoreless innings tonight as the Rays topped the Blue Jays 4-1 at Tropicana Field. And just like that, Toronto’s winning streak ends at 11 games.

Hellickson entered tonight’s start with a 5.50 ERA on the year, but a second-inning single by J.P. Arencibia was the only offense the Blue Jays could muster against him. They squandered a bases-loaded opportunity against Alex Torres in the eighth inning, as they could only get one run on a fielder’s choice off the bat of Jose Bautista.

The Rays got all the offense they would need in the bottom of the second inning, as James Loney, Wil Myers, and Sam Fuld hit consecutive solo home runs off losing pitcher Esmil Rogers. You can watch the video of Myers’ shot below. It was a majestic blast.

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: