I bet St. Louis fans are glad that’s over.
In addition to losing Yadier Molina mid-game due to a sore left wrist, the Cardinals were walloped by the Reds today, 7-2. Ace Adam Wainwright was shelled for six earned runs in six innings. That’s the second straight awful start for Wainwright since he tossed 128 pitches on August 23rd. He allowed nine runs in his last outing, also against the Reds. If the Pirates win the Central and the Reds and Cardinals face off in the wild card game, you have to wonder if Wainwright gets the call.
For Cincinnati, Mat Latos had a much better day. He tossed his first complete game of the season, allowing only two runs on four hits. He only needed 100 pitches to go all nine.
With this loss the Cardinals fall a half game back of the Pirates, who as of this writing are still playing against Milwaukee.
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: