Skip to content

So, will Alex Rodriguez hit third again on Thursday?

Oct 10, 2012, 11:46 PM EDT

Yankees' Jeter and Rodriguez celebrate a solo home run by teammate Ibanez against the Baltimore Orioles during Game 3 of their MLB ALDS baseball playoff series in New York Reuters

Because it certainly worked out tonight.

After going 0-for-3 with two strikeouts against Miguel Gonzalez, Alex Rodriguez was pulled from Wednesday’s game in the ninth. As you’ve probably heard, Raul Ibanez hit a game-tying homer in his place and then delivered the game-winner three innings later, giving the Yankees a 2-1 ALDS lead over the Orioles.

Of course, Rodriguez wasn’t the only Yankee to struggles versus Gonzalez tonight. He was just the most expensive. Gonzalez allowed only five hits in his seven innings. He struck out eight and walked none.

Rodriguez, though, looked bad enough that manager Joe Girardi made the decision to pull him in the ninth. And that it worked out so well should let Girardi off the hook for the poor choice to hit Rodriguez third in the first place.

Now Girardi has to make the decision all over again. That Rodriguez will start Thursday seems inevitable. But the Orioles have yet to announce who they’re going to throw in Game 4. If it’s left-hander Joe Saunders, then keeping A-Rod in the third spot makes plenty of sense. He hit lefties well all year, and he’s 7-for-16 with two homers lifetime off Saunders. If it’s right-hander Chris Tillman instead, then there’s really no way Rodriguez should hit third. It should be Mark Teixeira‘s spot, with A-Rod probably hitting sixth.

That Rodriguez did hit third tonight was probably less about Girardi saving face by standing by his original decision and more about trying to instill some confidence in his former MVP. But that can’t be the rationalization any longer. A-Rod isn’t going to sulk if he’s dropped in the order. Judging by his reaction to Ibanez’s first homer tonight, Rodriguez is truly thinking team first. And he has to know as well as anyone that he’s not performing like a No. 3 hitter right now.

Latest Posts
  1. Omar Infante is in some pain and is taking Toradol to treat it

    Oct 24, 2014, 11:51 AM EDT

    Omar Infante AP AP

    The powerful and controversial drug is allowing Game 2’s hero to battle through shoulder pain.

  2. Miguel Cabrera had surgery for bone spurs. And for a stress fracture in his foot.

    Oct 24, 2014, 10:39 AM EDT

    Division Series - Baltimore Orioles v Detroit Tigers - Game Three Getty Images

    For the second straight year we realize that Miguel Cabrera finished the season in way more pain than the Tigers had let on.

  3. “The San Francisco Giants are what the Yankees used to be”

    Oct 24, 2014, 9:40 AM EDT

    giants logo

    Quite the hot take from John McGrath of the Tacoma News-Tribune

  4. Hunter Strickland is “embarrassed”

    Oct 24, 2014, 9:08 AM EDT

    Hunter Strickland AP

    A day later, Strickland has a better handle on how he mishandled things on Wednesday night.

  5. “No one cares about baseball”

    Oct 24, 2014, 8:30 AM EDT

    Blodget Getty Images

    A man with a history of intentionally misstating the facts about stocks does so about baseball.

  6. World Series Reset: On to AT&T Park

    Oct 24, 2014, 7:13 AM EDT

    Screen Shot 2014-10-24 at 7.11.27 AM AP

    We’re tied 1-1. I guess that doesn’t make Game 3 “crucial.” Maybe it makes it “pivotal.” Not sure. Gonna have to consult my baseball cliche dictionary.

  7. After leaving Nationals, Bryan Minniti joins Diamondbacks as assistant general manager

    Oct 23, 2014, 9:58 PM EDT

    diamondbacks logo

    After stepping down as assistant general manager of the Nationals earlier this month, Bryan Minniti has accepted the same role with the Diamondbacks.

  8. Brandon Moss has hip surgery

    Oct 23, 2014, 8:57 PM EDT

    Brandon Moss AP

    Moss will use crutches for around four weeks and the expectation is that he’ll begin running in 12 weeks.

  9. Royals may bench Norichika Aoki for Game 3

    Oct 23, 2014, 8:16 PM EDT

    Division Series - Kansas City Royals v Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim - Game One Getty Images

    Aoki’s defense has been an issue throughout the postseason, with Yost frequently taking him out late in games.

  10. Cubs shutting down prospect Addison Russell from Arizona Fall League

    Oct 23, 2014, 7:49 PM EDT

    cubs logo

    One of the game’s top shortstop prospects, Russell saw some time at second base in the Arizona Fall League.

  11. Tim Lincecum being sent for MRI for back/side issue

    Oct 23, 2014, 6:49 PM EDT

    Tim Lincecum AP AP

    Tim Lincecum is being sent for an MRI regarding the lower back/side issue which caused him to exit from Game 2 of the World Series on Wednesday night.

  12. Dave Magadan decides to stay with Rangers

    Oct 23, 2014, 6:31 PM EDT

    magadan getty Getty Images

    Dave Magadan surfaced as a candidate for hitting coach vacancies with the Yankees, Athletics, Red Sox, and Mets, but he’s sticking with the Rangers.

  13. Mets hire former Yankees hitting coach Kevin Long

    Oct 23, 2014, 6:06 PM EDT

    Kevin long Getty Getty Images

    For the majority of Long’s tenure the Yankees had one of the elite offenses in baseball and overall from 2007-2014 they scored MLB’s second-most runs, but the lineup fell apart during the past two seasons due to aging and injuries.

  14. Phillies sign Grady Sizemore to one-year, $2 million deal

    Oct 23, 2014, 5:30 PM EDT

    Grady Sizemore Getty Images

    Sizemore’s numbers in Philadelphia were nothing special and for the season overall he hit just .233 with five homers and a .654 OPS in 112 games.

  15. Craig Breslow expects Red Sox to decline 2015 option

    Oct 23, 2014, 5:17 PM EDT

    Craig Breslow Getty Getty Images

    Bad year at a bad time for the 33-year-old free agent.

  16. The World Series ratings are low. So what?

    Oct 23, 2014, 5:04 PM EDT

    old TV

    ‘Tis the season for concern trolling about World Series ratings.

Featured video

A managerial overanalysis epidemic
Top 10 MLB Player Searches
  1. T. Lincecum (2911)
  2. M. Bumgarner (2723)
  3. J. Shields (2430)
  4. M. Morse (2314)
  5. Y. Cespedes (2040)
  1. T. Ishikawa (1682)
  2. U. Jimenez (1506)
  3. B. Roberts (1484)
  4. L. Cain (1453)
  5. H. Pence (1431)