First Pitch: It's not all about A-Rod
October, 9, 2012
By Andrew Marchand | ESPNNewYork.com
As always, the Yankees' playoff losing narrative resolves around Alex Rodriguez. It is because of who he is, the money he makes and how it always seems to come down to him.
But it is not just him.
Eduardo Nunez and Derek Jeter failed with the bases loaded in the fourth. With the tying run at third and the go-ahead run at second, Nick Swisher failed in the seventh. Swisher also left a man on second to end the first.
Jeter did have a RISP hit and an RBI in the seventh. Curtis Granderson had a RISP hit, but Mark Teixeira couldn't score before Nunez and Jeter didn't come through in the fourth.
But one of the things that A-Rod said in the postgame is very true, the Yankees have to force other teams to pitch to Robinson Cano. As intimidating as their lineup is with Granderson and his 43 homers batting eighth, they often don't come through in the clutch.
So A-Rod will get blamed and maybe he has earned that with all the money he makes. But he is one of nine. There is one bona fide hitting star on this club and Buck Showalter is pretty determined to not let Cano beat the Orioles.
It is not just A-Rod that has to get a big hit every once in a while.
UP NOW: Ian O'Connor on Alex Rodriguez. Wallace Matthews on wasting an excellent start from Andy Pettitte. I wrote the five things that you should know from the postgame clubhouse, including that Joe Girardi says "right now" he won't move A-Rod down in the order.
ON DECK: Today is an off day. The Yankees are not going to work out. Girardi and Hiroki Kuroda will hold press conferences at 1:30 and 2. We will have you covered all day.
IN THE HOLE: Wednesday's game will start at either 7:37 or 8:37 p.m. If the Reds or Tigers don't sweep today, the Yankees will play at 7:37 p.m. on Wednesday. If they do, the game will be at 8:37. The pitching matchup is Miguel Gonzalez (9-4, 3.25) vs. Hiroki Kuroda (16-11, 3.32).
QUESTION OF THE DAY: What would your batting order look like on Wednesday at Yankee Stadium?
Final/2OT New York 107 Milwaukee 101 Final Washington 113 Brooklyn 107
7:00 PM ET Anaheim NY Islanders 7:00 PM ET New Jersey Washington
5:00 PM ET E Washington Seton Hall 2:00 PM ET Army Rutgers 4:05 PM ET Iona Nevada 2:00 PM ET St. Peter's Hartford 6:00 PM ET Cornell Stony Brook