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. Dodgers promote Sergio Santos, DFA Xavier Cedeno

    Apr 24, 2015, 11:35 PM EDT

    Sergio Santos Sergio Santos

    The Dodgers made a couple of moves to make room for reliever Sergio Santos, called up on Friday.

  2. Mariners place Hisashi Iwakuma on the disabled list

    Apr 24, 2015, 11:00 PM EDT

    Hisashi+Iwakuma+Samurai+Japan+v+MLB+Stars+eDKaXCk7Myql Getty Images

    Hisashi Iwakuma is dealing with a strained right lat muscle.

  3. Mets lose to Yankees, winning streak halted at 11 games

    Apr 24, 2015, 10:05 PM EDT

    Jacob deGrom Jacob deGrom

    The Mets have lost for the first time since April 11.

  4. Blue Jays expected to activate Michael Saunders on Saturday

    Apr 24, 2015, 9:10 PM EDT

    michael saunders getty Getty Images

    Michael Saunders should be activated from the disabled list by the Blue Jays on Saturday.

  5. Wandy Rodriguez is starting for the Rangers tonight

    Apr 24, 2015, 8:15 PM EDT

    Wandy Rodriguez Wandy Rodriguez

    Wandy Rodriguez is starting on Friday night against the Angels.

  6. Josh Hamilton heads back where he belongs

    Apr 24, 2015, 7:27 PM EDT

    Josh Hamilton Josh Hamilton

    Hamilton’s return to Texas is the best-case scenario

  7. Mets shut Bobby Parnell down for a week due to forearm tightness

    Apr 24, 2015, 6:55 PM EDT

    Bobby Parnell Bobby Parnell

    Mets reliever Bobby Parnell won’t throw for a week as he experienced forearm tightness during his Tommy John rehab.

  8. Report: Angels, Rangers agree on Josh Hamilton trade

    Apr 24, 2015, 5:55 PM EDT

    Josh Hamilton AP

    The Angels and Josh Hamilton are reportedly parting ways.

  9. Jose Fernandez becomes a U.S. citizen

    Apr 24, 2015, 5:09 PM EDT

    Jose Fernandez Jose Fernandez

    Bonus of Tommy John rehab: more time to study for your naturalization test.

  10. Rob Manfred was asked again about the leaks in the Josh Hamilton case. His answers weren’t much better.

    Apr 24, 2015, 4:05 PM EDT

    manfred getty Getty Images

    Two weeks ago he said there would be no investigation. No he says the league has “tried mightily” to figure out the leaks. Really?

  11. Back injury sends Christian Yelich to the disabled list

    Apr 24, 2015, 3:15 PM EDT

    yelich getty Getty Images

    Yelich, who agreed to a seven-year, $49 million contract this spring, was off to a slow start by hitting .200 with zero homers and a .488 OPS through 11 games.

  12. Must-Click Link: Alex Rodriguzez: the slugger with a thousand faces

    Apr 24, 2015, 3:05 PM EDT

    Alex Rodriguez Reuters Reuters

    A-Rod’s habit of destroying narratives explains an awful lot about why reporters have developed a habit of destroying A-Rod.

  13. Orioles running out of infielders, put Ryan Flaherty on DL

    Apr 24, 2015, 2:49 PM EDT

    ryan flaherty getty Getty Images

    That leaves Everth Cabrera and Jimmy Paredes as the Orioles’ double-play duo.

  14. Kris Bryant is still mulling a grievance against the Cubs

    Apr 24, 2015, 11:32 AM EDT

    Kris Bryant Getty Images

    But even if it’s successful, it may not do what he wants it to do.

  15. Rays get James Loney, Drew Smyly back from disabled list

    Apr 24, 2015, 11:19 AM EDT

    smyly rays getty Getty Images

    Allen Dykstra, who filled in for Loney at first base, is headed back to Triple-A.

  16. Jarrod Parker makes first rehab start since Tommy John surgery

    Apr 24, 2015, 10:47 AM EDT

    Jarrod Parker AP AP

    Parker has been aiming at an early June return to the A’s.

  17. Someone sure as heck didn’t like the Barry Bonds decision

    Apr 24, 2015, 10:30 AM EDT

    Barry Bonds AP

    “That guy I despise got the benefit of the legal process! What a bunch of bull!”

Top 10 MLB Player Searches
  1. D. Travis (3897)
  2. A. Russell (3599)
  3. J. Hamilton (3421)
  4. D. Smyly (3249)
  5. D. Mesoraco (3176)
  1. T. d'Arnaud (3160)
  2. C. Rodon (3012)
  3. B. Zobrist (2962)
  4. K. Bryant (2959)
  5. J. Nathan (2956)