A-Rod’s Postseason Blast Off Continues With Game 2 Heroics

October 18, 2009   ·     ·   Jump to comments
Article Source: Bleacher Report - New York Yankees

There were five other at bats that played out eerily similar to those of Alex Rodriguez’s past postseason failures. 

He came up empty in his first four plate appearances, where only once did the ball leave the infield. Then there was his weak pop-out to shallow center that left the bases loaded in the 12th inning as the rain picked up and the temperatures dropped in the wee hours of the morning at the new Yankee Stadium.

But there were no boos from the exhausted New York fans afterwards and it wasn’t because their jaws were frozen shut. 

The 12th inning gaff was Rodriguez’s sixth and final at bat of the night, but it was his fifth attempt that made all the difference.


Trailing the Angels 3-2 and facing Los Angeles closer and AL saves leader Brian Fuentes, A-Rod led off the bottom of the 11th with a solo home run on an 0-2 pitch that tied the score and added another moment to the Yankee Magic montage.

Had the Yankees new Mr. Clutch recalled the days of Yankee Tragic, which is how Rodriguez’s first four postseason’s in pinstripes will be remembered, the scoreboard would’ve read Angels 3, Yankees 2, and the 2009 ALCS would be even at one game a piece.

Instead it screamed Yankees 4, Angels 3, and New York heads to Anaheim with a 2-0 advantage—a hole that likely feels deeper to both clubs based on the words flying around the clubhouses after the fact.

“Deflating,” Angels outfielder and emotional leader Torii Hunter said. “This is not our baseball. We’re not playing up to our capabilities right now.”

And now from the Yankees vantage point:

“Wow, what a game,” Rodriguez said. “I had a blast out there tonight.”

Or there was the telling remark from utility man Jerry Hairston, who was a hero in his own right on this night, leading off the 13th with a single in his first career postseason at bat and later scored the winning run:

“We knew we were going to win this game. We don’t give up. We really don’t.”

New York is oozing confidence as they head to their personal house of horrors, Angel Stadium of Anaheim, and have a slight margin for error thanks to A-Rod’s clutch blast.

It was the third time this postseason that he delivered a game-tying home run in the seventh inning or later, a new Major League record.

Maybe the most ironic part of the evening was that it was Rodriguez who saved Yankee captain Derek Jeter from a bit of media scrutiny, not vice versa.

Jeter delivered a solo home run in the third inning to give New York a 2-0 lead, but later hit into a rally-killing double play in the fifth and nearly cost the Yankees the game in regulation with a fielding error in the eighth.

All of The Captain’s sins were later forgiven by Rodriguez and you know something special, or maybe strange is the better word, is going on when Jeter is breathing a sigh of relief over an act of brilliance from A-Rod.

During the past five years of postseason futility from the Yankees, the fans and probably even the players were wishing the league had approved the Texas Rangers’ trade of Rodriguez to the Boston Red Sox in 2004. 

When it didn’t, he came to New York and the Yankees faltered while the Red Sox began a prosperous run of their own.

Some called it The Curse of A-Rod. Now the Red Sox are at home watching the playoffs and it’s Rodriguez who is making all the headlines while leading New York back to the World Series.

It still doesn’t seem or sound right, but it might finally be time we all get used to it.

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readers comments
  1. stuart on July 28th, 2014 9:44 pm


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