Ryan Howard’s three-run home run off of Mets starter Jacob deGrom in the seventh inning on Saturday was important for the Phillies because it brought them back into the game at a 4-3 deficit. It was important for Howard because it brought him to 1,000 career RBI.
Per Bob Brookover of the Philadelphia Inquirer, Howard has become the fastest to reach 1,000 career RBI, needing only 1,230 games to do so.
Howard has driven in 12 runs in his last six games, including three on a walk-off three-run home run against the Rockies on Wednesday. The first baseman is slashing .230/.304/.425 with 10 home runs and 37 RBI on the season.
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: