–Alex Rodriguez is a phenomenal player. However, due to his almost iconic status and the fact that he is on the Yankees, as well as his lack of World Series titles, he faces a LOT of criticism. Is it fair? I argue that it’s not. Many people criticize him and say that he only hits home runs when the game is out of reach and that he never comes through in the clutch. Starting with today’s game I will routinely look at every A-Rod at bat and see if he "never" comes through in the clutch like people say.
- At bat #1: 2nd Inning, 0-0 tied, bases empty, 1 out, ground out (0-1)
- At bat #2: 4th Inning, 2-0 lead, man on first, 0 out, double play (0-2)
- At bat #3: 5th Inning, 2-0 lead, 1st and second, 2 outs, RBI single (1-3)
- At bat #4: 8th Inning, 4-0 lead, bases empty, 0 out, strikeout (1-4)
–Rodriguez came up to the plate once with runners in scoring position and delivered. In the fourth he did ground into a double play but made up for it an inning later with a 2 out single that drove in Sheffield to tack onto the lead and extend the inning. The next batter (Posada) also singled and drove in another run to make it 4-0. Despite being 1-4 with a GIDP, A-Rod passes today’s test with his hit in the only time with a runner at second.
–Speaking of passing a test, how about Prince Albert? This guy passes every test and once again accounted for all three of the Cardinals runs. Please someone explain to me why this guy is getting pitched to as much as he has been. He as 40 walks (4th in AL) but he should have 60 by now. With a 1-0 lead in the sevent inning, the Astros were dumb enough to once again let Pujols beat them. While runners were on first and second and a walk would have loaded the bases and out the go-ahead run in scoring position, he still should have been walked. I know hindsight is 20-20 but come on. It was a 2-0 count to Albert and at that point don’t give in and just put him on base and take your chances with Rolen. You can’t continue to let Albert beat you every single time. His pace: 82 HR and 209 RBI.
–I suppose with Bonds passing Babe Ruth I should chime in with my thoughts. First of all, I think we need to give the guy a break. With or without steroids he’s easily one of the premier hitters to ever play in this game. Steroids can help you recover from injury and hit the ball further but they don’t help you to hit the ball. And let’s be honest, a great deal of players are juicing and I don’t see other people hitting 73 HR’s in a season and slugging .863 in a season (or .799 or .812 for that matter). Don’t forget that Barry has 8 career Gold Gloves and is the only member of the 400 HR/400 SB club. Oh, by the way, he has 700/500. Good luck touching that folks. And you know what? the Babe never had to face African-American players. That is HUGE and overlooked.