First Pitch: A-Rod, Tex in ALDS form

Alex Rodriguez doesn't have an RBI yet. Mark Teixera hasn't hit a homer. Combined, the Yankees' No. 4 and No. 5 hitters are batting .154 in 39 at-bats this season.

A-Rod and Tex are surely going to improve their numbers eventually, but what has been disturbing so far is how similar they look compared to last year's playoffs. In that ALDS against the Tigers, the two sluggers combined to hit .139 in 36 at-bats.

If Raul Ibanez and the Yankees' relievers hadn't bailed him out, A-Rod would have been the main story Tuesday night. He went 0-for-5 and struck out twice. He hit one ball relatively far, but showed only warning-track power. This may be a trend, where age and the lack of PEDs diminish the few extra feet that turn long flyballs into homers.

Rodriguez, 36, has already been knocked down a peg from elite to great, and that is only when he is healthy. He may be headed toward just being a good player. Meanwhile, Teixeira is happy he is not pulling outside pitches with his renewed approach to utilizing the whole field. Still, he knows he needs to drive the ball better.

"I wish I had more hits, but they are going to come," Teixeira said.

They probably will, but you have to wonder if Teixeira and Rodriguez will be able to consistently beat top pitching. That is a playoff requisite.

UP NOW: The Yankees will need a big outing from CC Sabathia on Wednesday night because Rafael Soriano has a nail issue. Mark Simon compares David Phelps to David Robertson.

ON DECK: I will be chatting at 1 p.m. Prior to that, I have a post scheduled on Sabathia's kids' influence on CC's attitude. It will go up at 10:15 a.m. Simon will post his must-read W2W4 (What To Watch For) for tonight's game later this morning.

IN THE HOLE: Sabathia (0-0, 7.50 ERA) faces Jake Arrieta (1-0, 0.00 ERA). The Yankees are off on Thursday. The home opener is on Friday afternoon.

QUESTION OF THE DAY: Do you believe in A-Rod and Teixeira in the clutch?