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The Nationals would very much like Game 4 to be rained out

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Game 4 of the NLDS between the Nationals and the Cubs is scheduled for 5:30 Eastern time. It was originally scheduled for later in the evening, but a rainy forecast caused Major League Baseball to move it up. That forecast, however, isn’t getting much better. At the moment there appears to be a nearly 100% chance of rain throughout the entire evening.

Joe Torre is in Chicago and, up until game time, it will be his call as to whether or not the ballgame gets underway. We all want a game played in dry conditions, but if it is postponed, it may be bad news for the Cubs and good news for the Nationals: if the game is played tomorrow instead of today, Dusty Baker can go to Stephen Strasburg rather than Tanner Roark as the starter, as Strasburg will be back on full rest as of tomorrow. Not that he’s admitting it yet:

Strasburg may not have won Game 1, but he allowed only two runs on three hits in seven innings in that game, and stands as a clear improvement over Roark. In an elimination game you have to assume Baker will call on his best available pitcher.

For his part, Joe Maddon says he’s sticking with Jake Arrieta whether or not the game is today or tomorrow, even though Game 1 starter Kyle Hendricks will likewise be on full rest by then. Hendricks, of course, was better than Strasburg in Game 1, but if Maddon does not use him in a theoretical Wednesday Game 4, he’d be available for a deciding Game 5 or Game 1 of the NLDS, whichever came next.

So, in the next hour or two we’ll be watching the skies. And watching for Joe Torre’s decision whether this game will be played.

Aaron Judge set a new postseason strikeout record

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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: