The Angels’ two-year, $8 million marriage with left-handed reliever Sean Burnett is off to rocky start.
Burnett has made just 13 total appearances this season because of elbow issues and now Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times passes along word that he has been shut down for the final two months due to ongoing joint discomfort. He might need surgery, but it won’t be the Tommy John kind.
Burnett posted a dominant 2.38 ERA and 57/12 K/BB ratio in 56 2/3 innings last season for the Nationals and parlayed that into a nice free agent deal in Anaheim. He will make $3.75 million in 2014 and carries a $4.5 million club option for 2015.
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: