Alex Rodriguez tosses his bat during batting practice before Game 5. (Kathy Willens / Associated…)
Wow. Alex Rodriguez will start the New York Yankees' biggest game of the year on the bench. Eric Chavez will start for the Yankees in the decisive Game 5 of their AL division series with the Baltimore Orioles.
Rodriguez is two for 16 with nine strikeouts in the series. With runners on second and third and one out in the eighth inning of a 1-1 game Thursday night, he struck out against Darren O'Day. Baltimore went on to win 2-1 in 13 innings.
"I think he's just going through a difficult time," Yankees Manager Joe Girardi said. "He's meant a lot to our organization. But he's struggled against right-handers in this series. So I made the decision to start Chavvy today."
Since helping New York win the 2009 World Series, Rodriguez is 10 for 66 (.152) with no homers and six RBIs in postseason play.
This isn't the only embarrassment suffered by A-Rod in the series. In the ninth inning of Game 3, with the Yankees trailing 2-1, Girardi sent up Raul Ibanez to hit for Rodriguez. He homered to send the game into extra innings, then homered in the 12th to win it.
The Yankees trailed, 2-1, in the 13th inning of Game 4 when Girardi sent Chavez up to hit for Rodriguez. Chavez lined to third.
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