The numbers don't lie. Alex Rodriguez is having trouble in the clutch again this season. What are those numbers? ONE 9th inning RBI all season? It's the end of August and he has ONE 9th inning RBI!
A-Rod is really trying his best out there but what happened to the A-Rod we got last year? The one who hit 8 9th inning HR's? The guy who hit 2 walk-off HR's in the first month of the season in 2007? I don't know. Maybe it's the huge contract he got in the offseason, maybe he's comfortable now, maybe he's distracted by all the off field stuff. Nobody knows for sure but A-Rod himself.
On Saturday afternoon Rodriguez had a chance to redeem himself and his team. On an afternoon where his team blew a four run lead, Alex came up to the plate in the bottom of the 9th inning, two on, no outs. All he needed to do was get a single and tie the game. The sellout crowd at Yankee Stadium were on their feet in support of their third baseman. Alex had everyone holding their breath because you just knew he had to get a hit here and save the Yankees when they needed him the most. He was due for a big hit. He got the count to 3-2 and on the sixth pitch of the at-bat he hit a ball hard to third, Toronto third baseman Jose Bautista made a nice scoop, ran and stepped on third then threw over to first to just barely complete the double play. A-Rod failed. As he has in big moments all season, Alex was left pondering what had just happened. One pitch later, the Yankees lost a game they were firmly in control and once again Alex's failures were the focal point.
"I hit it hard and he made an unbelievable play," Rodriguez said. "I don't know how he made it. It leaves you speechless. Everything about the at-bat was great except the results. Sometimes you need a break, you know? This one hurts a lot."
A-Rod and the Yanks have not gotten the breaks this season. A season that is seemingly dying a slow death. The double play in the 9th inning marked the 11th DP he's hit into this month, that's an astounshing stat. The guy can't get a hit when they need it the most. I feel bad for him, he works his butt off and he wants to show everyone why he is quite possibly the greatest player of all time, but he can't seem to deliver the big hit. It can't be a mental thing because we saw last year how great he was in the clutch. Baseball can be a humbling game, even for it's best player. Maybe he's putting too much pressure on himself, maybe we, the fans are. Nonetheless more Yankee losses like the one today send the Bombers home for good at the end of the season. No October stage, no postseason lights, no nothing...just a longer vacation into the cold winter air.