Wednesday, August 15, 2012
Notes: A-Rod on mend, Swish stars again
By Matt Ehalt
The Yankees received some positive news on Alex Rodriguez's broken left hand after the third baseman underwent an X-ray before Tuesday's win against Texas.
"It's definitely better," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said following his team's 3-0 victory. "The brace will come off. He's not quite ready to swing but he will start doing strengthening exercises so that's a good sign for us."
Rodriguez is working to return to the team after being placed on the disabled list on July 25. He's been throwing a football on the field before games as part of his conditioning program, and told reporters before Tuesday's game, "So far, so good," about his health.
In his absence, replacements Eric Chavez, Jayson Nix and Casey McGehee have combined to go 26-for-68 (.382) with seven homers. McGehee was 2-for-4 with two hits Tuesday.
SWISH LOCKED IN: Earlier in his at-bat against Alexi Ogando, Nick Swisher had seen what he described as a "white blur" as Texas' flame-thrower dialed it up. The right fielder even joked that he was hitting "on sound" as he stood at the plate in the seventh inning.
After battling to a 3-2 count with one on and one out in a scoreless game, Swisher certainly had no problem seeing the next pitch as he crushed a two-run shot to right field to put his team ahead for good. It was the second straight night Swisher has provided the big blast, as he crushed a grand slam during Monday's 8-2 rout.
"It was just a big opportunity and I was glad I could step up," Swisher said.
Swisher (1-for-4) had batted most of the season in the middle of the Yankees' lineup, but was recently moved up into the No. 2 spot. Since then, he's taken off as he's gone 9-for-30 with two home runs and 12 RBIs. The past two nights, he's been the biggest offensive star.
He gave the Yankees the lead for good Monday with his third-inning grand slam, and put the first runs on the board for the team Tuesday night. His homer was followed by a solo shot from Mark Teixeira to give the Yankees a 3-0 lead. It's the ninth time this year the team has gone back-to-back.
"He's been really good for us," Girardi said. "He's taken his walks, he's had big hits for us, he's started rallies, he's done a number of things for us. That two-run homer is a tremendous at-bat."
GRANDY SLUMPING: After going 0-for-4, Curtis Granderson's average dropped to .236, the lowest it's been following a game since April 18. The center fielder is in a bad slump as he has just one hit in his past 18 at-bats. He's been moved out of his normal No. 2 spot in the lineup, but that hasn't seemed to help. Girardi believes Granderson will break out of it.
"I'm convinced Curtis will come out," Girardi said. "I thought he had some pretty good swings off a left-hander tonight, I thought he just missed some balls."