An unexpected guest made a faux pas as Saturday afternoon’s Angels-Tigers game just got underway. Left fielder J.B. Shuck took a 2-2 Max Scherzer fastball deep to right field for a lead-off solo home run. The blast was his second of the year, one of the few things he’s done on the positive end of things with the bat.
Shuck rounded the bases, as one is wont to do after hitting a home run. One of the camera guys was following Shuck as he rounded the third base bag and took a spill in front of a crowd of nearly 37,000 and countless others watching on TV and online.
Thankfully for that guy, his moment will be immortalized forever:
(MLB.com isn’t allowing it to be embedded for some reason, but I’ve included it just in case it changes. Here’s the direct link to watch it on MLB.com.)
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: