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NLCS Golden Sombrero: Nick Punto

Top 2: Nick Punto struck out swinging against Chris Narveson

Top 3: hit a sacrifice fly to right field against Narveson

Top 5: struck out swinging against Kameron Loe

Top 7: called out on strikes against Takashi Saito

Top 9: called out on strikes against John Axford

Final Line: 0-for-4, 4 K, RBI

Notes: Punto’s golden sombrero against the Brewers on Sunday night was his first of the season, as well as the first by a National League player this postseason.  In a game where the Cardinals pushed across 12 runs on 14 hits, Punto was the only starter that failed to record a hit.

His four-strikeout performance was the third of his 11-year career, with the other two occurring as a member of the Twins in 2006 and 2008.  After striking out in 12.7% of his at-bats during the regular season—his career mark is 16.3%—Punto has struck out in 11 of his 21 at-bats this postseason.

Most importantly, Punto’s postseason sombrero gives me a chance to drop this graphic once again:

Total 2011 Sombreros: 125

Total 2011 Postseason Sombreros: 2

Golden Sombrero: John Jaso

Top 2: John Jaso struck out swinging against Josh Beckett

Top 4: struck out swinging against Beckett

Top 6: called out on strikes against Beckett

Top 8: struck out swinging against Daniel Bard

Final Line: 0-for-4, 4 K

Notes: While Jaso’s never been one to hit for a high average, he has always had a knack for getting on base – so much so that Joe Maddon has occasionally hit him leadoff.  In 2010, Jaso had a breakout year, as he played in 109 games and posted a .341 wOBA and 2.6 fWAR.  This season, however, the left-handed hitting catcher has posted a .291 wOBA and 0.4 fWAR over 86 games.

Total 2011 Sombreros: 116

Golden Sombrero: Miguel Olivo (No. 3)

Bottom 2: Miguel Olivo struck out swinging against Ivan Nova

Bottom 4: struck out swinging against Nova

Bottom 7: struck out swinging against Jamey Wright

Bottom 9: flew out to center against Rafael Soriano

Bottom 11: struck out swinging against Corey Wade

Final Line: 0-for-5, 4 K

Notes: Olivo recorded his third golden sombrero of the season in Wednesday night’s extra-inning game against the Yankees.  In his first sombrero, Olivo accomplished the feat while hitting cleanup for the Mariners.  This time around, the aging backstop did it out of the six-hole.  His second sombrero also came against the Yankees in late July, and he’s now tied with Adam Dunn, Kelly Johnson, Jayson Werth and Grady Sizemore for the league lead. And I wouldn’t rule out it happening again this season considering that his strikeout rate sits at 28%, which is above his career strikeout rate of 26.4%, and he’s already made the most plate appearances of his career.

Total 2011 Sombreros: 115

Golden Sombrero: Paul Goldschmidt (again)

Top 2: Paul Goldschmidt struck out swinging against Clayton Kershaw

Top 4: called out on strikes against Kershaw

Top 7: struck out swinging against Josh Lindblom

Top 9: struck out swinging against Kenley Jansen

Final Line: 0-for-4, 4 K

Notes: Playing in his 38th game since being called up by the Diamondbacks, Goldschmidt tallied his second golden sombrero of the season against the Dodgers on Wednesday night.  One would have thought that Kershaw’s ejection might have prevented his sombrero, especially considering that Goldschmidt fanned in both of his at-bats against the southpaw.  But the big man stayed true to his power-hitting form, fanning in his final two at-bats to finish the job.  Be sure to check back for an awesome Paul Goldschmidt-inspired graphic when he makes his inevitable postseason debut in October. That’s the most I can divulge without totally giving it away – Dee and our friend Eat-A-Ton might know where I’m going with this.

Total 2011 Sombreros: 114

Golden Sombrero: Kelly Johnson (No. 3)


Bottom 1: Kelly Johnson struck out swinging against Tim Wakefield

Bottom 3: struck out swinging against Wakefield

Bottom 6: struck out swinging against Franklin Morales

Bottom 7: grounded out to first against Daniel Bard

Bottom 8: struck out swinging against Matt Albers

Final Line: 0-for-5, 4 K

Notes: With players like Adam Dunn, Ryan Howard and Mark Reynolds playing nearly everyday—well, I guess not so much Dunn these days—it’s hard to believe that Kelly Johnson is now tied for the league lead in golden sombreros.  Tied with Adam Dunn and Grady Sizemore with three, Johnson’s latest achievement came against the Boston Red Sox on Wednesday night.  The second baseman’s strikeout rate sits at a career-high 27.6% and his OPS is down over 150-points.  And after this season, it’ll be interesting to see if Johnson will be factored into their long-term plan. (The same can be said regarding the Diamondbacks and Aaron Hill.)

Total 2011 Sombreros: 109