On the same day he saved the 100th game of his career Mets reliever LaTroy Hawkins told Adam Rubin of ESPN New York that he definitely plans to continue pitching next season at age 41.
And performance-wise there’s certainly no reason for him to call it quits, as Hawkins has thrown 68 innings with a 3.06 ERA and 53/10 K/BB ratio that stands out as the best of his two-decade career.
Hawkins was a bust as a starter and then as a closer with the Twins early in his career, but settled in as one of the most consistently solid right-handed setup men in baseball for the past dozen years or so. He has a 3.09 ERA in 711 total innings since 2002 and has had an ERA above 4.00 just twice during that time. He’s been closing for the Mets in Bobby Parnell’s absence, but expect Hawkins to land another setup gig.
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: