While he’s a rookie, we’ve seen enough of Judge to know what he brings to the table. He hits for good power, and strikes out a lot. But in the ALDS, he literally took striking out a lot to a new level. He struck out 16 times in the ALDS, which represents a MLB postseason series record.
Mind you, that’s a five-game series. He struck out more in this one than any other player has in a six or seven-game series.
Now, to a degree, that’s still par for the course with Judge. The strikeouts are part of the deal with him.
The only problem is that he didn’t hit in the ALDS, either. Judge slashed at .050/.208/.100 against the Indians.
What are the chances that his team will overcome numbers like that in consecutive series? The man who might be the American League MVP and will certainly be the league’s Rookie of the Year really needs to turn it around against the Astros.
New York’s offense is impressive. But without Judge producing, outslugging Houston will be kind of like winning the 100-meter dash in work boots. It will technically be possible, but not exactly realistic.
Astros bid for World Series history
To some extent, Houston has already made some baseball history. When the Astros defeated the Red Sox in the ALDS, they became only the second franchise to earn a spot in the League Championship Series in both the American and National Leagues. Previously, only the Milwaukee Brewers had done that.
Should Houston advance to the Fall Classic, it would be the only franchise to represent each league in the World Series. Representing the National League, the Astros reached and lost the 2005 World Series against the Chicago White Sox. Under the current alignment, Milwaukee is the only other organization that could accomplish this.
Should the Astros win the ALCS, keep this factoid mind. It will make the 2017 World Series relevant in bar trivia settings for a long time.
Didi Gregorius attempts to find consistent hitting stroke
Admittedly, it seems somewhat ridiculous to nitpick the performance of the man who likely would have been the ALDS MVP if such an award was given.
But while Gregorius came through with two big home runs, the overall consistency wasn’t there throughout the series.
Gregorius finished the series with a respectable, but not great .235/.435/.588 line. But through the first four games, he was at .077/.368/.077. It really goes to show how much one game can alter someone’s numbers over a five-game sample size.
Now, he certainly gave us some positives to draw from. Hitting two home runs in a winner-take-all game is extraordinary. But for four of the five games, he didn’t produce that much. Beating Houston will require a more consistent effort from New York’s No. 3 hitter.
Is Houston’s bullpen good enough?