David Shovein

Baseball Daily Dose

print article archives RSS

Daily Dose: Chasing McGwire

Monday, September 25, 2017


After his torrid first half of the season, many believed that Aaron Judge was going to rewrite the record books on his way to one of the finest rookie campaigns of all time.


Then, during a 36-game stretch from July 23 to September 2, the 25-year-old slugger hit just .177/.342/.339 with five homers, 10 RBI and a 56/30 K/BB ratio in 155 plate appearances. At that stage, most prognosticators agreed that he had already sewn up the American League Rookie of the Year Award and would finish with terrific numbers across the board, but any chance of a truly historic rookie campaign were growing dim.


That has all changed over his last 19 contests however, as Judge has seemingly regained the ridiculous power stroke that put him on the map at the beginning of the season.


Entering play on Sunday, Judge had hit .305/.457/.831 with nine homers and 19 RBI over his last 18 games. That gave him an American League-leading 46 home runs on the season, putting him just three shy of the all-time rookie record set by Mark McGwire during his 1987 season.


Leading off the sixth inning on Sunday, Judge launched a Marcus Stroman 3-2 offering into the stratosphere for his 47th bomb of the season. He wasn’t finished just yet though. The following inning, he tattooed the first pitch he saw from Ryan Tepera over the wall in left center for number 48.


With seven games remaining, all of them in the friendly confines of Yankee Stadium, it seems almost inevitable that he’ll catch and then surpass McGwire’s record, forever etching his name into the history of this wonderful sport.


With his recent surge, Judge is now slashing .281/.416/.610 with 48 homers and 105 RBI.


He continues to raise the bar on the mark he has already set for most walks ever in a season by a rookie. On Sunday, he drew his 119th free pass of the season. In addition to being the top mark ever by a rookie, it also leads all of baseball this season. As does his strikeout total, which sits at 202 after whiffing once on Sunday. He has also scored 122 runs, which leads all major league hitters.


In addition to the Rookie of the Year honors that he’s a lock to take home, Judge has positioned himself squarely into the discussion for the American League MVP award. Undoubtedly, the Yankees wouldn’t be in the position that they are, having already secured a Wild Card berth, without Judge’s monstrous offensive numbers this season.


Editor’s Note: Win a FREE trip to the World Series plus cash prizes!

 


Securing a Spot


On Sunday, the Arizona Diamondbacks officially punched their ticket to the postseason, securing the top Wild Card spot in the National League with their victory over the Marlins.


It was trade deadline addition J.D. Martinez who propelled the team to victory on Sunday, delivering a walk-off RBI single in the ninth inning to send the home crowd into a tizzy. Martinez has crushed 27 home runs and driven in 58 runs in his 57 games with the Diamondbacks.


It’s the first time that the Diamondbacks have advanced to the postseason since the 2011 season.


After celebrating with the traditional champagne shower in the clubhouse after the game, many players went out and had an impromptu pool party just over the wall in right-center field, giving the home crowd that stuck around a chance to share in the celebration.


They’ll now host either the Rockies, Brewers or Cardinals at home on October 4 to see which club gets to advance to the Division Series.




Welcome Back Bryce!


Nationals’ superstar outfielder Bryce Harper is expected to make his triumphant return to the lineup on Monday.


He has been on the shelf since sustaining a significant bone bruise on his left knee and a left calf strain when he slipped and fell on a slippery base during a game on August 12. He has made major strides in his recovery in recent weeks though and has played in simulated games without issue.


It’s unclear if he’ll play every day over the final week of the regular season, but having the chance to get his timing back against big league pitching is a major bonus before the Nationals embark on the postseason.


Before landing on the shelf, Harper had been in the discussion for National League MVP honors, hitting .326/.419/.614 with 29 homers and 87 RBI in 106 games. Fantasy owners will certainly welcome him back into lineups for the final week of the season.





American League Quick Hits: White Sox’ left-hander Carlos Rodon hasn’t ruled out undergoing surgery on his ailing left shoulder this offseason… Max Kepler (back) expects to return to the Twins’ lineup on Tuesday… Jeimer Candelario (knee) is expected to rejoin the Tigers’ lineup on Tuesday… Eduardo Nunez (knee) ran the bases without issue on Sunday and could return the Red Sox at some point this week… Dylan Bundy was scratched from his start on Sunday due to a hamstring issue. He won’t pitch again this season… Adam Jones was lifted from Sunday’s game due to general leg soreness… An MRI revealed that Miguel Cabrera has been dealing with two herniated discs in his back. He’ll be limited to DH duty if he plays at all over the final week of the season… Andrew Heaney (shoulder) is scheduled to throw off a mound on Monday and if all goes well he could be cleared to start on Thursday… Eduardo Escobar launched his 20th home run of the season and plated four runs as the Twins crushed the Tigers… Rafael Devers homered and played the game-winning run in a victory against the Reds… Lucas Giolito fanned five over seven innings of one-run ball to beat the Royals… Khris Davis crushed his 41st home run as the Athletics routed the Rangers… Corey Kluber earned his 18th win of the season, allowing just a pair of unearned runs and striking out 10 over his seven innings… Jose Ramirez belted his 29th homer to pace the offense in that win…Justin Upton blasted his 35th home run and swiped his 12th base as the Angels defeated the Astros on Sunday night.



National League Quick Hits: Bronson Arroyo officially retired from professional baseball after 16 major league seasons… Noah Syndergaard is scheduled to make another start for the Mets before the end of the season, after throwing just five pitches in his scoreless inning of work on Saturday. He’ll go no more than two innings in that outing… Rookie Davis was scratched from his scheduled start on Tuesday due to a hip injury which could require surgery... Deck McGuire will start in his place against the Brewers in Milwaukee… Manny Pina (thumb) may not return this season… Justin Turner missed his third straight game with a bruised right thumb. He remains day-to-day… Tyler Glasnow has been shut down for the rest of the 2017 season… Randall Delgado will be given a platelet-rich plasma injection in his right elbow on Thursday. The D’Backs remain hopeful that he could return at some point during the postseason… Max Scherzer fanned 10 over six innings of one-run baseball in Sunday’s victory over the Mets… Jacob deGrom struck out 11 and allowed just two runs in a tough-luck loss on the other side… Billy Hamilton swiped his 59th base in a losing effort against the Red Sox… Nick Pivetta fired six scoreless innings in a win over the Braves… Luiz Gohara allowed just one run over seven frames in a tough-luck loss against the Phillies… Jose Quintana threw his first shutout since the 2015 season, limiting the Brewers to just three singles and a walk while punching out 10 over nine marvelous innings… Keon Broxton swiped his 20th base of the season on Sunday, becoming the eighth player in the league to go 20/20 this season… Clayton Kershaw locked down his 18th win of the season, fanning six over eight innings of one-run baseball… Yasmani Grandal homered and drove in all three of the Dodgers’ runs in that victory… Dan Straily fanned nine while allowing just one run over six innings in a tough-luck no-decision...Wil Myers blasted his 29th home run in a loss to the Rockies… Charlie Blackmon smashed his 36th long ball in a win over the Padres.




Dave Shovein is a baseball writer for Rotoworld. You can follow him on Twitter @DaveShovein.
Email :David Shovein



Highest Searched Players over the last 7 days



Video Center

  •  
    Dose: Raiders Win Thriller

    Dose: Raiders Win Thriller
  •  
    RotoPat: Week 7 Rankings

    RotoPat: Week 7 Rankings
  •  
    Dose: Diggs Not Practicing

    Dose: Diggs Not Practicing
  •  
    Power Rankings: Saints Rise

    Power Rankings: Saints Rise
  •  
    Waivers: Top Dallas RB?

    Waivers: Top Dallas RB?
  •  
    Dose: Mariota Wins in Return

    Dose: Mariota Wins in Return
  •  
    Dose: Vintage Peterson

    Dose: Vintage Peterson
  •  
    Silva: Week 6 Matchups

    Silva: Week 6 Matchups