Thursday, October 18, 2012
Alex Rodriguez still not in lineup
By Andrew Marchand ESPNNewYork.com
DETROIT -- While Alex Rodriguez's future with the New York Yankees is in doubt, his present situation is certain -- the star third baseman is stuck on the bench against right-handed pitchers.
With a night to sleep on it, Yankees manager Joe Girardi has left Rodriguez and center fielder Curtis Granderson on the bench against Detroit Tigers starter Max Scherzer for Game 4 of the AL Championship Series. The two had been benched for the game that was rained out Wednesday.
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"Our decisions aren't made on a whim," Girardi said before Thursday's game. "They are based on a lot of stuff that we see and information that we have."
If the Yankees can stay alive in this best-of-seven series, Rodriguez still might not start again.
The Tigers have only right-handed starters scheduled for the ALCS, and Rodriguez is 0-for-18 with 12 strikeouts this postseason against righties.
Eric Chavez, who is hitless in 14 at-bats this postseason, again will replace Rodriguez at third base.
"(Chavez's) at-bats have been OK," Girardi said. "You know, as I talked about yesterday, I thought he got the barrel of the bat to (Justin) Verlander three times the other day, and that's not an easy guy to get the barrel of the bat up to. And (Chavez) has swung the bat pretty good for us this year -- that's why he's in there."
Eduardo Nunez again will start at shortstop for injured Derek Jeter after homering off Verlander and playing fine defense in Game 3.
"I think it can really build a lot of confidence for his career moving forward," Girardi said. "I mean, you can argue that for (Nunez), that's the best game that he's ever played in the big leagues because of the importance of it. ... For him moving forward, it just shows you the type of ability that this kid has, and I really want to see him build off it."
Brett Gardner will start in center field in place of Granderson, who has struck out 15 times and has just three hits in 29 postseason at-bats.