Pinch hitting for A-Rod, Raul rocks Bronx

October, 10, 2012
10/10/12
10:53
PM ET
Raul ibanezJohn Munson/The Star-Ledger/US PresswirePinch hitting for A-Rod in the bottom of the 9th, Raul Ibanez went yard to tie Game 3.
So who needs A-Rod anyway?

Joe Girardi boldly pinch hit for his struggling slugger with one out in the ninth on Wednesday, sending Raul Ibanez to the plate instead of A-Rod.

And Ibanez delivered -- in a big way. The veteran drilled a fastball from Orioles closer Jim Johnson over the right field wall to tie Game 3 of the Yanks-O's Division Series at 2-2.

Ibanez became the first Yankee ever to hit a game-tying pinch-hit homer in the 9th inning or later of a postseason game. Incredibly, the solo shot was Ibanez's third game-tying homer in the ninth inning or later in the past three weeks.

Rodriguez, on the other hand, continued to struggle in Game 3. He finished 0-for-3 with two strikeouts and was booed lustily after both K's. In the series, A-Rod is 1-for-12 with seven K's.

To his credit, Rodriguez was one of the first Yankees to greet Ibanez in the dugout after his clutch homer.

Girardi considered moving A-Rod down in the lineup prior to Game 3, but ultimately he decided to stick with Rodriguez in the No. 3 hole.

Wonder where he hits A-Rod in Game 4?

Ian Begley

ESPN New York Writer

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TEAM LEADERS

WINS LEADER
Masahiro Tanaka
WINS ERA SO IP
13 2.77 141 136
OTHER LEADERS
BAJ. Ellsbury .271
HRB. McCann 23
RBIB. McCann 75
RB. Gardner 87
OPSB. Gardner .749
ERAH. Kuroda 3.71
SOH. Kuroda 146