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Yankees' Alex Rodriguez turning his postseason into a hit parade

Teammate Johnny Damon says the only thing missing from A-Rod's baseball resume is a World Series title. Through Saturday, he already has three home runs and eight RBIs in the playoffs.

October 19, 2009|Kevin Baxter

October has not been Alex Rodriguez's best month, especially since the future Hall of Famer came to New York. In five playoff series with the Yankees, Rodriguez has hit .245, 50 points below his career average, with four homers and nine RBIs.

But five games into this postseason he has nearly matched the power numbers, hitting three homers and driving in eight runs while hitting .368. And all three of the homers have come in the seventh inning or later, either tying the score or putting the Yankees ahead to stay.

"He has been absolutely huge for us. I'm not sure where we'd be right now without him," Yankees Manager Joe Girardi said.

Well, it's unlikely they'd be two wins from the Word Series, someplace they've never been with Rodriguez in their lineup. And despite all of Rodriguez's individual accomplishments, teammate Johnny Damon said his career won't be complete without a title.

"When you think of Alex Rodriguez you think of one of the greatest players who has ever put on the uniform," Damon said. "His only downfall in his career so far has been he hasn't won a championship."


More Mo

Closer Mariano Rivera said he was feeling "beat up" after getting seven outs in Saturday's 13-inning marathon, which ended well into Sunday morning, New York time. It was Rivera's longest outing since May 2006 and his longest postseason outing in six years.

"[It] was one of those games that you just have to do whatever it takes to win the game," Rivera said Sunday. "If it takes for me to pitch two innings or two-plus innings, I mean, I'll be there. I'm OK. Tomorrow I'll be fine."

And Girardi said he won't hesitate to use Rivera today if a save situation arises.

"The bottom line is, he didn't throw a ton of pitches," Girardi said. "And I figured the second full inning he pitched was after midnight, so it was on the second day."


Sabathia to start Game 4

Girardi said 19-game winner CC Sabathia, who dominated the Angels in the ALCS opener, will start Tuesday's Game 4 on three days' rest.

"We're comfortable with him going on short rest," Girardi said of Sabathia, who held the Angels to a run and four hits in eight innings Friday. "He's had success going on short rest. He feels good, and we're going right to CC."

That also leaves the left-hander in line to start a decisive seventh game on four days' rest, should the series go that far.

Girardi also said he's considering some minor changes to the Yankees' lineup from Game 2, changes that almost certainly will include Jorge Posada behind the plate to catch Andy Pettitte.


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