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Eric Chavez over Alex Rodriguez the right move for Game 5

Oct 12, 2012, 1:25 AM EDT

Yankees' Rodriguez strikes out against the Orioles during Game 4 of their MLB ALDS baseball playoff series in New York Reuters

Darren O’Day isn’t a conventional pitcher. He’s given plenty of quality right-handed hitters a tough time during his big-league career. Still, it was kind of telling that Alex Rodriguez couldn’t  catch up to his 85-mph fastball in Thursday’s loss to the Orioles.

A-Rod did get a single and a walk in five plate appearances Thursday. However, Yankees manager Joe Girardi again made the call to pull him with the game on the line. Unlike Wednesday, it didn’t pay off tonight, as Eric Chavez lined out in his place to end the 13-inning marathon. Still, pretty much everyone figures A-Rod would have struck out anyway.

Starting Rodriguez against left-hander Joe Saunders on Thursday was the right move. Now that the Orioles are going back to a righty in Jason Hammel for Game 5, it’s time for Rodriguez to take a seat. His bat is too slow to make him a threat right now, and if he’s capable of guessing fastball and cheating on it, he certainly hasn’t showed it so far.

Chavez should play third base in his place. Chavez hit .298/.365/.543 with 16 homers in 245 at-bats against righties during the regular season. A-Rod hit .256/.326/.391 with 10 homers in 317 at-bats.

Really, as bad as A-Rod has looked, this doesn’t even make for a tough call. Rodriguez is hardly the only Yankee struggling — Robinson Cano and Curtis Granderson aren’t getting it done either — but Chavez has been the superior option against righties for months now and with the season on the line, the Yankees can’t afford to be going with their lesser players. It’d do or die, and A-Rod appears long dead.

  1. vallewho - Oct 12, 2012 at 1:53 AM


  2. hconnor2001 - Oct 12, 2012 at 4:28 AM


  3. watermelon1 - Oct 12, 2012 at 4:50 AM

    As an Orioles fan, I would feel better with A-Rod out of the lineup. But shoot… Besides both teams’ leadoff hitters (and Ibanez), NOBODY is hitting in this series. Can’t bench them all. Someone has to play.

    I was actually upset Showalter didn’t bench Adam Jones and Flaherty for Avery and Andino a lot earlier in the last two games.

    At least get Avery in there for a pinch runner when you have Thome on first with no outs.

    Either way, gotta go with your big guns in game 5. Such an awesomely close series.

    I get the feeling both sides’ bats wake up in this next one, even with the “aces” on the mound.

    • phalatek6 - Oct 12, 2012 at 8:08 AM

      The Xavier Avery option doesn’t exist, he’s not on the active roster. And taking out Adam Jones probably hurts the defense. But I would support dropping him in the order today in hopes of relieving the pressure. Maybe put Mark Reynolds or Matt Wieters where Jones has been (even though they’re both lost themselves).

      No matter what I think sure, but I’d hope we see Bobby Andino and Lew Ford tonight. Gotta try something to get bats moving, and against CC Sabathia, it’s going to be difficult.

  4. buffalomafia - Oct 12, 2012 at 4:59 AM

    Choke rod!

    • anythingbutyanks - Oct 12, 2012 at 8:43 AM

      I bet you spend a lot of time trying to choke yours.

      • kopy - Oct 12, 2012 at 9:50 AM

        Not as much time as he spent coming up with that HILARIOUSLY WITTY pun!

  5. jchild27 - Oct 12, 2012 at 7:57 AM

    I’m tired….I’m tired of the CHOKING. I’m tired of the NOT producing. I”m tired of waiting for the crack of the bat from the $29 Million Dollar Man. I think I’ve developed a respitory condition from countless post-season games of NOT breathing every time #13 gets up to the plate. I’m sorry. TEAM TEAM TEAM?? Share some of your contract money with Raul Ibanez. Start wearing women’s lingerie ala Bull Durham….PLEASE do something to show you’re worth EVERY penny, A-ROD. Bench him?? NO….that’s NOT the answer…..get your head in the game and pull the monkey off your back and JUST DO IT!! Enough Already….I want to proudly wear my orange All-Star Jersey again…..

    • brewcrewfan54 - Oct 12, 2012 at 8:48 AM

      The real problem is you bought an orange All Star jersey.

  6. brewcrewfan54 - Oct 12, 2012 at 8:25 AM

    And they owe this guy $30 million a year for another 5 or so years? Better hope his swing finds some speed this offseason.

    • greymares - Oct 12, 2012 at 9:03 AM

      the man proved he’s just not much without the juice. 58 rbi in 122 games. even Ryan Howard whose contract is talked about constantly on this site had 56 rbi in 71 games. as a guy who would not be unhappy if the Yankees lose I say PLAY A.ROD.

      • brewcrewfan54 - Oct 12, 2012 at 9:10 AM

        I disagree with the juice thing. Fact is he’s 36 years old and injuries have started to play a major role in his performance. To expect him to hit .330 and hit 40 homers at that age is crazy. Bottom line is it was a dumb contract to give him. Although .272 with 18 homers is a pretty good bad year.

      • Jeremy T - Oct 12, 2012 at 12:16 PM

        Tough to say what’s the juice and what’s just age. The bottom line is, don’t give 10 year contracts to players in their 30’s. It’ll only end in tears.

  7. thekennypua - Oct 12, 2012 at 8:49 AM

    Granderson needs to hit the bench as well…

    Put Ichiro in CF, and Ibanez in LF…

    • Jeremy T - Oct 12, 2012 at 12:17 PM

      I’d prefer Ibanez at DH, Ichiro in left, and Gardner in center, but Jeter might have to DH again tonight.

  8. woodyqq2 - Oct 12, 2012 at 9:21 AM

    Jeter 8 hits, the rest of the (choke) Team 25.. Most of them suck. What the ells the problem?? Anyone heard from Long??? the alleged batting coach??

    • woodyqq2 - Oct 12, 2012 at 1:57 PM

      The Thumbs down must be from Long or his wife

  9. deathmonkey41 - Oct 12, 2012 at 9:46 AM

    Man, I wish we could take Granderson out of the lineup. He looks lost on every single pitch of every single AB. The only reason people aren’t making a big deal about his awfulness is because they’re obsessed with A-Rod. Someone told me Andruw Jones isn’t on the PS roster?

  10. jxegh - Oct 12, 2012 at 11:30 AM

    And everyone was giving me thumbs down for suggesting this two days ago………

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