A-Rod's struggles at plate hurting Yankees in ALDS

Associated Press Modified: October 9, 2012 at 6:46 pm •  Published: October 9, 2012
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The third baseman hit only 18 home runs and had a .430 slugging percentage while driving in just 57 runs in 122 games this season, exclusively batting third or fourth for the team that scored the second most runs in the majors with 804.

Rodriguez went a startling 67 at-bats in September without an extra-base hit shortly after returning from a broken left hand. Robinson Cano, who had an RBI double Monday, had nine straight multihit games to finish the season, hitting .615 over that stretch, and many fans want to see him hit in the No. 3 slot.

Granted, Rodriguez is not the only player that's nearly Oh-for-October. Baltimore's Adam Jones is 1 for 8, Washington's Bryce Harper is 1 for 10 and Detroit's Prince Fielder is 1 for 8, but the Tigers are up 2-0.

But none of those stars have as much history as the three-time MVP, either. The highest-paid player in baseball with a contract that can exceed $300 million and has five years remaining, A-list girlfriends, a gossip page fixture.

Ending the Yankees' last two trips to the playoffs with whiffs doesn't help — Game 6 in 2010 ALCS with a caught looking and a swinging strike three against the Tigers last year in the first round. He also hasn't homered in the postseason since hitting six in 2009, but he's fanned 17 times.

Overall, Rodriguez is a career .271 hitter in the postseason with 13 homers and 41 RBIs since making his first playoff appearance in 1995 with Seattle. He is a career .300 hitter in the regular season with 1,950 RBIs.

But Girardi insisted he likes what he sees from Rodriguez. He hit a sharp liner that Baltimore second baseman Robert Andino stopped with a dive and singled before striking out twice as the Yankees tried to rally.

"He squared up two balls," Girardi said. "You look at the ball he hit in the first inning, he squared it up. And then he had the other hard single. Right now I don't have any plans to make any changes."

Rodriguez isn't the only one struggling for the Yankees against the Orioles solid pitching staff. New York went 2 for 8 with runners in scoring position and stranded 10 in Monday's loss.



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