Because the injuries to the Yankees’ starting rotation apparently never stop, David Phelps exited last night’s game after two innings with what the team is calling right elbow inflammation.
After the game manager Joe Girardi revealed to Wallace Matthews of ESPN New York that Phelps has been dealing with elbow problems for “three or four weeks” already and recently underwent an MRI exam that came back clean. Despite that, Phelps posted a 2.97 ERA in five July starts.
Wallace writes that Phelps seems likely to miss at least one start and the fact that Girardi felt the need to say “I believe he’s going to pitch again” this season certainly suggests it could require a stint on the disabled list alongside fellow starters Masahiro Tanaka, CC Sabathia, Michael Pineda, and Ivan Nova.
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: