40-year-old Bobby Abreu was released by the Phillies at the end of spring training, but he continues to be a surprising contributor for the offense-starved Mets.
Hitting cleanup with Curtis Granderson sidelined due to a calf injury, Abreu went 4-for-4 with two RBI and two runs scored last night in a 6-2 victory over the Padres at Citi Field in New York. He doubled and scored in the second inning, singled and scored in the fourth, had an RBI single in the fifth, and knocked in another run with a single in the seventh. The big night gave him his first four-hit game since May 30, 2011 with the Angels.
Abreu is now batting .319/.386/.472 with one home run, 11 RBI, and more walks (nine) than strikeouts (eight) over 83 plate appearances this season. It should be said that 41-year-old Bartolo Colon was the winning pitcher last night after giving up two runs over 7 1/3 innings. He has a 1.83 ERA over his last five starts. The Mets are building around youth, but the old dudes are getting it done right now.
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: