From Eric Stephen at SB Nation’s True Blue LA:
GLENDALE — Dodgers relief pitcher Scott Elbert had his appendix removed on January 28, delaying his rehab from Tommy John surgery.
“It didn’t burst, but it was going to,” Elbert said. “It was hurting for a couple days and I didn’t know what it was, I thought it was the flu virus.”
Elbert was already expected to miss the first two months of the 2014 season for elbow rehab, and this appendectomy might tack on another few weeks.
The 28-year-old left-hander posted an impressive 2.32 ERA and 8.6 K/9 in 90 appearances for the Dodgers between 2011-2012, but injuries have been a near-constant frustration for him in recent years. Elbert was the 17th overall pick in the 2004 MLB Amateur Draft out of Seneca High School near Joplin, Missouri.
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: