But the Yankees will have to address how Alex Rodriguez’s shrinking power and how to avoid being suffocated by it in the final five years of his contract. A-Rod has gone 10 games without an RBI — his worst drought since 2005, and a particularly devastating regression for a No. 3 hitter. It’s become an open secret among American League pitchers that A-Rod can’t catch up to fastballs above the belt. He’s instead recalibrated for singles and walks.
Rodriguez was held hitless by the Blue Jays, and with the tying run on first base, ended the game with a routine fly ball to center. Two bases on balls, however, allowed him to rationalize another empty performance.
“I don’t feel too bad,” Rodriguez said after the game. “The walks are good, you build on that.”
No reasonable baseball person believes that. Even A-Rod knows he’s been reduced to white lies and nonsense.
It’s too late now to drop Rodriguez in the order; Girardi would never take that kind of risk. But unless A-Rod produces, the Yankees are looking at another early exit in the playoffs.
His strikeout ratio has climbed to 22.2 percent, the highest it’s been since 2005. One talent evaluator said Rodriguez has lost so much bat speed “he gets tied up like a pretzel” by even average hurlers such as Romero. Of course, the Yankees can blame home plate umpire Mike Everitt, who had a bad game and punched out several batters, including Rodriguez, on pitches below the knees. And if the Yankees want to make themselves feel better, they can indict second base umpire Tim Welke, too, for incorrectly calling out Brett Gardner on his attempted steal of second in the eighth inning.
Posted: September 30, 2012 at 10:27 AM | 21 comment(s)
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