You guys aren’t going to believe this, but here’s some good news about an injured starting pitcher.
While Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports reported late last night that the Padres were fearful that right-hander Joe Wieland would require a second Tommy John surgery, general manager Josh Byrnes told Jeff Sanders of U-T San Diego this evening that an MRI did not show damage to the ulnar collateral ligament in his elbow.
Byrnes declined to say exactly what the MRI showed, but it’s worth noting that Wieland suffered a stress reaction in his elbow and dealt with a triceps issue last year while rehabbing from his July 2012 Tommy John surgery. The Padres are expected to know more about his status in seven to 10 days, but it sounds like the worst-case scenario can be ruled out.
If there’s any team that deserves some good luck on the injury front for once, it’s the Padres.
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: