Alex Rodriguez started the Yankees’ biggest game of the year on the bench. After being pinch-hit for in Games 3 and 4 against the Baltimore Orioles, the $275 million third baseman was removed from the starting lineup for Game 5 on Friday.
It all comes down to this: a do-or-die Game 5 at Yankee Stadium. New York has to like its chances with Sabathia on the mound.
Desperate times call for desperate measures. Formerly fearsome hitters Curtis Granderson and Alex Rodriguez could both be sacrificed in a drastically different Yankees lineup Friday.
I heard Yankees fans whine about Russell Martin, Joe Girardi, Ichiro Suzuki and, well, everyone but the sainted captain at shortstop. I had to roll my window down a foot in case of car (and fan) sickness.
Joe Girardi must finish the job. He took the first step when he put Alex Rodriguez (.083 in the series) on the bench in the ninth inning on Wednesday night and had Raul Ibanez pinch-hit for him. He must now leave him there.
He has to give a lineup change serious consideration. It’s not about ego at this point. It’s about surviving and advancing. Chavez could launch a homer or two over the right-field porch, and there’s little doubt that Ibanez would hit the ball hard.
There’s nowhere for A-Rod to hide — Joe Girardi isn’t ready to drop him in the batting order. As the Yankees’ No. 3 hitter, he’s going to have to start carrying his share of the load.
Playoff under-performers Nick Swisher and Mark Teixeira have gotten off to a hot start in the ALDS.
“I said it was his game,” manager Joe Girardi said. “It was his game to either win or lose, and that’s exactly what he did. He went out and won the game for us.”
Joe Girardi has placed 11 pitchers on the team’s 25-man roster for the AL divisional series against the Baltimore Orioles.
Cano’s hot streak lit a fuse for his teammates. Nick Swisher, Raul Ibanez and Ichiro Suzuki all were hitting the ball with authority over the last two weeks.
In every game the Yankees lost, they looked old and slow. In September, those old guys played with veteran savvy and experience. So, which is it?
With the new playoff format, the Yankees’ next move is to, well, be patient. “To have the best record and not know where you’re going is strange,” manager Joe Girardi said.
Mark Teixeira returns to the Yankees’ lineup tonight and will play first base.
The Yankees blew an important game to the Blue Jays as the Orioles are chasing for the AL East lead.