Josh Hamilton was originally hoping to make his return from left thumb surgery tonight, but the Angels will have to wait a little bit longer to get him back in the lineup.
Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com passes along word that Hamilton is currently dealing with a bone bruise in his thumb that is unrelated to the surgery. He suffered the setback when he got jammed by a pitch while playing in his first minor league rehab game last Thursday. He’ll take at least one day off from swinging a bat and will have go back out on a rehab stint before being cleared to rejoin the Angels.
Hamilton was hitting .444 (12-for-27) with two home runs, six RBI, and a 1.286 OPS over eight games prior to tearing the ulnar collateral ligament in his thumb on a head-first slide on April 8.
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: