Last night was Friday, the 13th of September, considered to be an unlucky day among the superstitious. For the uninitiated, Dodgers broadcaster Vin Scully took time in between game action to bring us up to speed on the history of the day, discussing its origin, differences among other cultures, and he even dropped in a Tupac Shakur reference.
People tend to go a little overboard when they hail Scully as the best broadcaster in the business, but last night was yet another reminder that, indeed, Scully is the best broadcaster in the business.
Friday the 13th did happen to be bad news for the Dodgers, who lost behind future 2013 NL Cy Young award winner Clayton Kershaw, who allowed three runs (two earned) in seven innings, allowing eight hits and walking none while striking out six.
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: