Two weeks ago the Phillies demoted Darin Ruf to Triple-A and he won’t be back in Philadelphia anytime soon, as Ryan Lawrence of the Philadelphia Daily News reports that the 27-year-old first baseman/outfielder has a broken bone in his left wrist.
The injury stems from a collision with the outfield wall on June 2, but the initial diagnosis did not find any fractures. Apparently a follow-up exam saw something different, so now Ruf is out for … well, actually the Phillies haven’t given an official recovery timetable yet. Lawrence speculates that Ruf will be sidelined for at least a month and that’s just until he can get back into the Triple-A lineup.
Ruf has hit well in the majors, smacking 18 homers with an .830 OPS in 92 games for the Phillies, but with Ryan Howard entrenched at first base there isn’t much room for him unless they want to take a big hit defensively. He’s too good offensively to deserve being stuck at Triple-A, but for now that’s a moot point.
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: