A scoring change from the July 26 Marlins-Rockies game came down on Friday, costing Christian Yelich his third hit from his major league debut.
Yelich’s third single of the game was a hard grounder at a drawn-in D.J. LeMahieu playing second base. The ball handcuffed LaMehieu and bounced over his shoulder, though LeMahieu was able to pick it back up and turn it into a close play at first base. On Friday, it was changed to an error on LeMahieu instead of single.
Now, it’s hardly unique for error decisions to be overturned on appeal a couple of weeks after the fact, but this is still a pretty odd one. It was definitely a tough play for LeMahieu, and I’m guessing the majority of official scorers would have given Yelich a hit on it. But it’s really surprising anyone felt the need to appeal in the first place, given that the play didn’t lead to any additional earned/unearned runs. Jose Fernandez did score on the grounder, but the error isn’t going to assume he would have been thrown out at home and change that run to unearned. Giancarlo Stanton followed it by lining into a double play, so no additional runs scored. Rockies pitcher Jhoulys Chacin sees his ERA remain unchanged by the decision.
So, yes, it a minor event and not really worth griping about. But I don’t see why MLB felt the need to overturn this one.
Here is the Yelich highlight clip from the game. The hit/error in question starts at the 30-second mark.
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: