User ID
Password
  Forgot User ID
or Register Today!
VegasInsider.com
Follow Us on Facebook Follow Us on Twitter Follow Us on Google+ VI Mobile Scores and Betting Odds
Home
NFL
NBA
NHL
MLB
NCAA FB
NCAA BK
Golf
Auto
Horses
Soccer
Boxing/MMA
More
Betting Tools

 
A-Rod's struggles at plate hurting Yanks

NEW YORK (AP) - For all of his home runs, All-Star accolades and huge salaries, Alex Rodriguez finds himself in a most familiar spot this season.

Advertisement
A-Rod is an October lightning rod.

With every swing and miss, memories of his amazing run during the New York Yankees' championship season in 2009 fade even further. Instead, fans are becoming more and more vocal, calling for manager Joe Girardi to drop him from the No. 3 spot in the lineup.

Rodriguez struck out to end the Yankees' 3-2 loss to the Baltimore Orioles in Game 2 of their division series Monday night, leaving the best-of-five matchup tied at 1.

He's fanned plenty of times - five in all while going 1 for 9 so far in the series.

``I feel fine at the plate,'' Rodriguez said after the loss. ``I've just got to finish at_bats. I'm getting good swings.''

He'll have the chance to turn things around Wednesday night when the series shifts to the Bronx for Game 3. Hiroki Kuroda (16-11) starts for New York against Miguel Gonzalez (9-4), a rookie right-hander who has 17 strikeouts in 13 2-3 innings against the Yankees in two starts.

After their train experienced an electrical outage after the loss Monday and turned a usual 2-hour, 15-minute trip to New York into a 5-hour journey, manager Joe Girardi was reluctant to address the Yankees' more pressing power problem Tuesday.

``I think that we're going to do whatever it takes to win this three-game series. Nothing that we do will be something that is just a knee-jerk reaction,'' Girardi said. ``The great thing about this is I have a great group of guys that's very unselfish, and they really want to win. And that's what we're going to do, what we think is best to win.''

Always protective of his players, Girardi might be choosing to coddle Rodriguez after watching Joe Torre cause a stir in 2006 by dropping the 14-time All-Star to eighth in the Yankees order against the Detroit Tigers in the first round.

``Sometimes it's just not as easy as just writing a name or taking a guy out, a pitcher out. You have to think about the emotional part,'' Girardi said. ``You always have to think about that as a manager.''

A big fan of the numbers, all collated in his ever-present binder, Girardi need not look too deep to see that the 37-year-old Rodriguez is not the same player that has amassed 647 homers, fewer than only Willie Mays, Babe Ruth, Hank Aaron and Barry Bonds.

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.

AP NEWS
The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2016
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved

  
HEADLINES
Akins: Diamond Trends - Friday
Price gets another season with Reds
Cubs GM, scouting director get extensions
A-Rod starts new role as Tampa instructor
Enberg in final innings of long career
Stolen Fernandez jersey returned
Wild-card chases face rainy forecasts
Rookies infuse life into rebuilding Pads
MORE HEADLINES
 
Why Buy Picks From VegasInsider.com
MLB Pro Baseball Handicapper Sports Picks Records
MLB Hot Streaks
4-1 L5 Guarantees, +8,788 TY
2-0 Yesterday, +4,570 This Year
6-1 L7 Picks, 5-1 L6 Guarantees
2-0 +269 LN, 3-1 L4 G-Plays
24-14 Record Last 3 Days
33-20, +1,926 L53 Selections
4-0 Record Wednesday
15-7, +870 L22 MLB G-Plays
11-6 L17 Guaranteed Plays
11-5 L16 G-Plays, +3,195 TY
3-0 +368 Picks, 9-4 +640 G-Plays
6-3 Last 9 MLB G-Plays
MLB Pro Baseball Expert Sports Picks
2016 MLB SEASON PICK RECORDS
Money Leaders
Handicapper Money
Micah Roberts + 8788
Jim Feist + 4570
John Fisher + 3195
Underdog Leaders
Handicapper Money
Micah Roberts + 2044
Jim Feist + 1672
Kevin Rogers + 1269
Over-Under Leaders
Handicapper Money
Micah Roberts + 4303
Antony Dinero + 1398
John Fisher + 1315
Guaranteed Leaders
Handicapper Money
Jim Feist + 3180
Antony Dinero + 2867
Micah Roberts + 2791
Favorite Leaders
Handicapper Money
James Manos + 2759
Antony Dinero + 2460
Micah Roberts + 2441
Member Leaders
Handicapper Money
Micah Roberts + 1868
NeiltheGreek + 1471
Bill Marzano + 1455
MORE PICK RECORDS
  
corner graphic
With a VI Gold Membership, you can SAVE 10% off a Live Odds subscription, SAVE 20% off Daily Pick packages, and receive access to up to 1,000 Member Plays each month!
VI Gold Membership