Over the past two postseasons, Rodriguez has three hits in 27 at-bats and has struck out 11 times. He’s 1-for-9 with five strikeouts so far against the Orioles in the American League Division Series while hitting third in the lineup.
“We’re going to do whatever it takes to win this three- game series,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said yesterday when asked whether Rodriguez might be lowered in the order. “Nothing that we do will be something that is just a knee-jerk reaction.”
The best-of-five division series is tied at one game apiece after the Yankees’ 3-2 loss in Game 2 two days ago, when Rodriguez, 37, became the first major leaguer in postseason history with four game-ending strikeouts.
A three-time AL Most Valuable Player whose 647 home runs rank fifth on the MLB career list, Rodriguez last hit a homer on Sept. 14 and has gone 19 games since his last postseason home run in 2009.
“We talk about different things, and whether it’s a pitching change or pitching situations,” Girardi said. “I have a great group of guys that’s very unselfish and they really want to win. And that’s what we’re going to do, what we think is best to win.”
Rodriguez has batted third or fourth in the Yankees’ lineup in 120 of 121 starts this season, having hit fifth in one start. He hit .272 with 18 homers and 57 runs batted in during the regular season.
The Yankees host Game 3 tonight, with Game 4 scheduled for tomorrow in New York. A decisive fifth game, if necessary, would be played the following day at Yankee Stadium.
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