The Giants have placed starter Matt Cain on the 15-day disabled list after being hit by a Gaby Sanchez line drive in the fourth inning of yesterday’s start against the Pirates. X-rays showed Cain did not suffer a fracture. In his place, the Giants have called up Yusmeiro Petit and he will likely make at least one spot start on Tuesday against the Rockies, per Henry Schulman.
It’s been a rough year for Cain. Prior to the injury, which put him on the DL for the first time in his nine-year Major League career, he was looking forward to ending his 2013 on a high note. His ERA was at 5.00 as recently as July 26, but in his five starts prior to yesterday’s, he posted a 2.25 ERA in 36 innings of work. Overall, his ERA is now at 4.43, a career-worst.
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: