Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts is not in Saturday’s lineup against the Mariners, but he is feeling fine after being hit in the head by a Felix Hernandez pitch in the fifth inning of Friday night’s loss, per ESPN Boston’s Joe McDonald. Bogaerts initially stayed in the game, but admitted to losing focus in the field and he was pinch-hit for by Brock Holt in the bottom of the sixth.
Holt is playing shortstop in Bogaert’s stead, leading off. Bogaerts says he was given concussion tests and although he doesn’t know the results, he feels fine.
The 21-year-old rookie has had a tough season, slashing .223/.293/.333 with eight home runs and 30 RBI.
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: