Wednesday, October 10, 2012
Pinch hitting for A-Rod, Raul rocks Bronx
By Ian Begley
Pinch 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.