( 4UMF NEWS ) A Rod Benched:
After being pinch hit for in Games 3 and 4 against the Baltimore Orioles, the $275 million third baseman was removed from the starting lineup for Game 5 on Friday.
“It is difficult. He has meant a lot to the organization, the game of baseball over the years,” manager Joe Girardi said. “And he has been a very productive hitter. But he struggled against right-handers in the series, and Chavy has been good against right-handers all year long.”
The 37-year-old Rodriguez is 2 for 16 (.125) with no RBIs and nine strikeouts in the series, going hitless in 12 at-bats against right-handed pitchers. He was 0 for 4 with three strikeouts in the opener against Jason Hammel, Baltimore’s Game 5 starter.
Chavez hit .298 against righties during the regular season but is 0 for 4 against them in the playoffs.
Girardi contacted Rodriguez before the 14-time All-Star arrived at Yankee Stadium on Friday and informed him of the decision.
“His message: `Let’s win, and I’m ready to help whenever you need me,’” Girardi said. “And I believe that, so I believe he is ready to take an at-bat against a lefty and help us win.”
Since helping New York win the 2009 World Series, Rodriguez is 10 for 66 (.152) with no homers and six RBIs in postseason play. He hasn’t homered in 84 at-bats since Sept. 14.
With the Yankees trailing 2-1 in the ninth inning of Game 3, Girardi sent up Ibanez to bat for A-Rod, and Ibanez hit a tying home run. Ibanez homered again in the 12th to give New York a 3-2 win.