Daily Archives: September 24, 2011

Yanks need productive ARod this October

The Yankees go as ARod goes in October

Now that the Yankees have clinched the AL East, it’s time to think about the post-season.  One of the biggest unknowns is Alex Rodriguez.  Is he healthy?  Is he still capable of being the dangerous cleanup hitter he’s been most of his career?  Can he dominate like he did in the 2009 Post-season or is that hitter gone?

I wish the answer to all of those questions was Yes but Reality paints a different picture.  Alex has been on a slow, steady decline since his MVP season in 2007.  Whether his decline has been caused by age or the multitude of injuries he has endured, there is no doubting he is not the same menacing presence in the cleanup slot anymore.

ARod started this season healthy and was having a solid year until he hurt his knee at Wrigley Field on June 19th.  Up until that point he was hitting .289 – 13hr – 43rbi in 249 ABs.  While those weren’t the dominating numbers he used to put up in his prime, he was on pace for another 30 HR – 100 RBI season.  He went on to play another 3 weeks after the initial knee injury but it was obvious he had Zero leg drive at the plate and was hitting purely with his upper body.  Mired in the midst of the longest stretch without a HR in his career (96 ABs), it was decided that he should have the torn meniscus operated on so he would be ready for the post-season.

This was definitely the right call at the time and he returned 6 weeks later on August 21st with 5-6 weeks to get his stroke back before the post-season.  Unfortunately, Alex injured his right thumb immediately after returning and it has hampered him non-stop since.  He is 11 for 45 with 3 HRs since his return but hopefully he can use the next 5 or 6 days to get somewhere near 100%.

Because of the time lost and the injured thumb, I doubt we can expect ARod to carry the team like he did in the 2009 Playoffs & World Series, but, he needs to have a solid post-season for the Yanks to get where they want.  During his Yankee tenure, there is a clear link to the success of Rodriguez and the success of the team. Since his arrival in 2004, the Yanks have played in 10 Post-season series, winning 5 and losing 5.  ARod has been a paramount figure in why the team won and lost those series.

Here is how Alex Rodriguez has hit in his 10 Post-season series with the Yanks:

 

Games

 

ABs

 

Hits

 

Average

 

HRs

 

RBIs

 

5 Series Wins

 

22

 

82

 

30

 

0.366

 

7

 

22

 

5 Series Losses

 

26

 

96

 

19

 

0.198

 

3

 

8

 

Total – 10 Series

 

48

 

178

 

49

 

0.275

 

10

 

30

 

While ARod is still a huge piece of the lineup, hopefully guys like Granderson & Cano can continue their MVP-type seasons  and Swisher & Teixeira can finally have strong post-seasons to take some of the burden off of Alex.  The Playoffs usually come down to which team pitches the best and comes up with the big hits when they are needed.  ARod always seems to come up in those big ABs and hopefully he will be physically sound so he can do his job.  With the other weapons on this team, Alex shouldn’t feel the pressure to carry the team like he used to.  If he can just have a solid October, I think the offense will their job and the Yankees fate will rest on the arms of its starting pitchers.

Yankees Don’t Expect Cervelli For ALDS

Francisco Cervelli has been out of commission since concussion symptoms appeared after his September 8 game in Baltimore

Even though Francisco Cervelli is making progress, the Yankees don’t expect to have Cervelli for the ALDS.

Cervelli was sidelined with a concussion during a September 8th game in Baltimore but even though he was cleared to work out he has not continued baseball related activities.

“I still would be a bit surprised if we got him back, but, you know, maybe it stays away and maybe he’s available to help us.” Girardi clarified.

The Yankees would have no problem carrying Jesus Montero & Austin Romine into the ALDS if Cervelli is not available.

“It changes the way that maybe you think about your roster a little bit.” Girardi said. “When you think about your roster, the expectation is that Russell Martin is going to play everyday.”

If the Yankees make it to the ALCS they would ask Cervelli how he felt again and hopefully, Cervelli will be ready.

Game 157 | Yankees vs. Red Sox

Lineup:

Derek Jeter SS
Curtis Granderson CF
Mark Teixeira 1B
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Robinson Cano 2B
Nick Swisher RF
Andruw Jones LF
Jesus Montero DH
Russell Martin C

Pitchers:

Freddy Garcia (11-8, 3.77) vs. Jon Lester (15-8, 3.15)

Pregame Notes:

— Phil Hughes’ bullpen session went as planned. He threw 35-40 pitches. Girardi said he isn’t ruling out Hughes for the bullpen in the ALDS, as he hasn’t thrown much of late.

— The forecast for today’s 4pm game is pretty good, overcast and 75 degrees. Tomorrow, however, when the Yanks have a day-night doubleheader looks to be pretty rainy. Perfect!

Enjoy the game!

 

Morning Bits: Stretch Run, Cashman, C.C., Nova

Well as you all know by now yesterdays game was rained out and will be part of Day/Night Double Header on Sunday.  Today’s game time is 4:10 PM as it is the FOX game of the week.

In other games that concern the Yankees last night the Tigers beat the O’s in extra’s 4 to 3.  Tampa and the Angels both lost.

Yankees Magic Number to clinch the best record in the AL remains at 3.

and here are your morning links….

* The Yankees are dodging the weather and juggling lineup in push for home field in playoffs.

* Cashman said he faked interest in Carl Crawford to drive up the price for Boston.

* C.C. and Nova in the ALDS rotation.  Number 3 still up in the air.

AL EAST BEST RECORD

American League
AMERICAN W L PCT GB HOME ROAD RS RA DIFF STRK L10 POFF
x-NY Yankees 95 61 .609 50-28 45-33 836 629 +207 Lost 1 6-4 100.0
x-Detroit 91 66 .580 4.5 46-30 45-36 744 689 +55 Won 1 6-4 100.0
x-Texas 91 66 .580 4.5 50-29 41-37 819 662 +157 Won 1 8-2 100.0
Boston 88 68 .564 7 45-36 43-32 851 701 +150 Lost 2 3-7 95.2
Tampa Bay 86 71 .548 9.5 42-34 44-37 678 598 +80 Lost 1 4-6 3.7
LA Angels 85 72 .541 10.5 44-32 41-40 651 608 +43 Lost 2 5-5 1.1

WILD CARD STANDINGS

American League
AMERICAN W L PCT GB HOME ROAD RS RA DIFF STRK L10
Boston 88 68 .564 45-36 43-32 851 701 +150 Lost 2 3-7
Tampa Bay 86 71 .548 2.5 42-34 44-37 678 598 +80 Lost 1 4-6
LA Angels 85 72 .541 3.5 44-32 41-40 651 608 +43 Lost 2 5-5