It was easy to think the worst when Manny Machado was carted off the field with a left knee injury last Monday at Tropicana Field, but no major ligament tears were found while Orioles team orthopedist Dr. John Wilckens recommended rest and rehab for a torn medial patellofemoral ligament rather than surgery. The Orioles received more encouraging news today following a second opinion from Dr. James Andrews.
Roch Kubatko of MASNSports.com reports that Andrews agreed with the Orioles’ diagnosis. Machado will have his knee examined again in four weeks in order to get a sense of his progress from the injury, but the team is hopeful that he’ll be able to resume running in 6-8 weeks. If all goes well, he should have plenty of time to get ready for the start of the 2014 season.
Machado, 21, batted .283/.314/.432 with 14 home runs and 71 RBI during his first full season in the majors this year. His 51 doubles led the American League.
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: