Jeremy Bonderman returning to the majors for the first time since 2010 certainly went much better than I expected in that he wasn’t a complete disaster and actually strung together a few good starts, but after back-to-back poor outings the Mariners designated him for assignment.
Bonderman finishes with a 4.93 ERA in seven starts overall, but that included more walks (17) than strikeouts (16) in 38 innings and there isn’t much in his pre-call-up performance at Triple-A that suggests he’s capable of better.
Seattle will need to add another starter to the rotation for Thursday’s game and 23-year-old top prospect Erasmo Ramirez–who thrived in his first taste of the majors last year–has a 3.09 ERA and 42/14 K/BB ratio in 44 innings at Triple-A.
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: