• September 3rd vs. The Twins

    Posted by on September 3rd, 2006 · Comments (21)

    Nice solid effort by Rasner in this game. But, the story of the day is A-Rod.

    Some Yankees fans will look at Alex’s big day and say “Sure, now he starts hitting – it’s September and the Yankees locked up the division last month. Typical. Look at this game – he had 2 homers and 5 RBI. But, 4 of those 5 RBI came late in the game when the Yankees were comfortably ahead in the game. Same ol’ stat padding.”

    And, other Yankees fans will look at Rodriguez’ big day and say “Wow, in his last 4 games, A-Rod has 5 homers! He’s coming on at the right time. With his great hitting now leading into the post-season, he can make for his bad month of June with a great October – a month where it counts.”

    So, Yankees fans, which one is it?

    Comments on September 3rd vs. The Twins

    1. bloodyank78
      September 3rd, 2006 | 5:51 pm

      For this Yankfan, it’s the latter. Why would someone want to put a negative spin on Arod’s sudden productivity? What good, if any, does ripping Alex for getting hot too late in the season do anyway? For those Yankfans that feel the way Steve described above in his first version are deluded if you ask me. Not rational people at all. So, which one is it for you Steve?

    2. Rich
      September 3rd, 2006 | 6:06 pm

      Pretty much, as per usual, I agree with by78. It did cross my mind that Alex has started to turn it on now that there is no real pressure on the Yanks, especially from the Sox. However, if he can get some confidence and bring it into October, the Yankees will be the most feared team in the league by far.

      I don’t know if Alex can ever shake the monkey off his back. One postseason won’t do it. If an MVP season doesn’t do it, one series or one ring won’t either IMHO. He’ll never live up to the hype. I’d be curious to know how his teammates feel about him right now. He probably has more to prove to them than he does to the fans. If I were a player, I wouldn’t want to hear Pavanoisms all day about how he’s injured, or has sun burn, or whatever the flavor of the week is.

      If he keeps this up, his numbers will look like they always do. He had a great September last year too, didn’t he?

    3. Raf
      September 3rd, 2006 | 6:38 pm

      So, Yankees fans, which one is it?

      People are going to say whatever they want to say, whether it’s correct or not.

      Just enjoy watching one of the game’s best players.

      If he has the ability to “pad his stats” then he has the same ability to “come through in the clutch.” How that logic eludes some people is beyond me (:

      Next game, if ARod goes 0-5 with 5k’s we’ll be right back where we started.

    4. Ghostwheel
      September 3rd, 2006 | 6:51 pm

      The former of course. The fans are cheering, the lead is 8+ games, the RedSox have faded so there is no pressure, so A-Rod will now start hitting. ;->

      In reality its a bit of both. There is no pressure, and the fans at the stadium are cheering for him each at bat. And he had to start hitting he is really that good, based on the back of his baseball card.

      But he can never live up to “the greatest player in baseball” hype while he plays next to Jeter, who rules Yankee stadium. The guy was the MVP last year, and still can’t get a break.

    5. JeremyM
      September 3rd, 2006 | 7:49 pm

      I’m going with the second one. The guy had a great May, which of course prompted Mr. May talk, so he can’t win there either. Anyway, all it will take is one big moment in a World Series winning effort. Look at Tino-he has the rep of being a big-game player based on a few big knocks despite the fact that his stats are pretty poor in the playoffs. Now A-Rod will never completely live it down to his contract, but a ring will go a long way.

      Anyway, “stat-padding” is such a joke. Few leads are ever totally safe, and in a more perfect world guys like Proctor would’ve been afforded some additional rest today due to the big lead. A few extra runs can pay off big down the road if used correctly.

    6. christopher
      September 3rd, 2006 | 8:47 pm

      Anyone who takes the “now he starts to hit” stance will never, ever accept ARod. He has 30+ HRs again, 100 RBIs again, has totally dominated Chicago, Minnesota, Oakland, and Detroit pitching and has hit over .300 in Fenway, yet some people believe that all of those stats were accumulated in meaningless at bats. The fact of the matter is that his fielding yips, June slump, and week long slump in August all happened in meaningless games. He has performed time and time again when it has counted. Anyone who discounts ARod’s recent performance against Detroit and Minnesota is delusional. These are the teams that we will be playing in a month. ARod’s hot stretch against these teams means more than a few bad throws against Toronto and a few strikeouts against Seattle and the Angels.

    7. JeremyM
      September 3rd, 2006 | 10:56 pm

      Man, I’m just glad the Red Sox were able to mix in one more loss, since Varitek (the man with the ‘C’ on his chest) comes back tomorrow. They will probably go 28-0 or so now.

    8. September 3rd, 2006 | 10:59 pm

      ~~~So, which one is it for you Steve?~~~

      Actually, neither.

      I want to see more than the last 4 games before I make a call, either way.

    9. Jim in Chicago
      September 3rd, 2006 | 11:54 pm

      It’s neither.

      Arod this year:

      cold April, hot May, cold June, hot July, and cold August.

      A hot September merely fits the pattern.

      (But wait til that cold October and the howls of rage.)

      Btw: Giambi has just the opposite pattern, hot April, June, and August, cold May and July, and so far he’s 0 for September.

      I mean what’s the deal with that, are Arod and Giambi sharing the same HGH prescription with each guy getting a month on/month off, or what?

    10. baileywalk
      September 3rd, 2006 | 11:59 pm

      Jim, it’s probably because Konerko keeps stealing it.

      Konerko: hot April (.360), cold May (.234), hot June (.366), cold July (.234), hot August (.336).

    11. rbj
      September 4th, 2006 | 9:27 am

      I’ll go with the latter. Mix in A-Rod’s nice series against Boston last month as well. 7 for 21, 3 2Bs, 5 rbis & 5 rs. That was a pressure situation where he stepped up.

    12. September 4th, 2006 | 9:48 am

      Newsday rings in with an opinion:
      it’s stat padding to them.

    13. September 4th, 2006 | 9:50 am

      I’m not sold on the Boston series – everyone hit very well in those 5 games.

    14. christopher
      September 4th, 2006 | 10:25 am

      Hmmm – the old “everybody hit well, so nobody hit well” theory. I guess A-Rod will have to go 5 or 5 in a Game 7 situation, while the rest of the team goes a collective 0 for 40.

    15. September 4th, 2006 | 11:22 am

      Arod did damn well against playoff bound teams this season.

      Except no one seems to notice. I have the specific numbers posted on my blog.

    16. baileywalk
      September 4th, 2006 | 12:23 pm

      If the whole league pitched A-Rod the way the Twins did, he’d be the MVP again. The way to get A-Rod out — and it’s no secret — is to crowd him with hard fastballs up in the zone. He can’t get around on them. If you throw a fastball with anything on it above his belt, he will swing and miss.

      But if you throw him breaking balls and keep the ball away, he will crush it. A-Rod has tremendous power to the opposite field, and if he can extend his arms he’s as powerful as anyone in the game. When someone has a long swing like A-Rod, you can’t bail them out by throwing breaking balls or giving him anything away.

      I’m not taking anything away from A-Rod’s performance — I loved it and hope he continues to hit well — but the Twins gave him exactly what he wanted.

      If the K.C. Royals or whoever else we play this year are able to bust him inside with hard stuff, he’ll probably struggle again. I don’t think he’s shortened his swing enough.

    17. September 4th, 2006 | 1:29 pm

      But the thing is, it isn’t just the Twins.

      Arod has had excellent performances against the Tigers and A’s and White Sox…two of those teams lead the AL in ERA.

      Not to mention how good he did against the Mets.

    18. lenyc
      September 4th, 2006 | 3:39 pm

      I pick the latter and here is why, AROD is actually getting hot at right time now especially when it comes after the team has the lead at the end of games. The reason I think this is important is that The bullpen needs rest before we go into the playoffs most importantly MO, and what better way to give the bullpen rest than to start getting hot and blowing out teams as we head to the end of the season. Now whether or not Joe Torre will take advantage of this is a different issue. But I don’t mind him getting hot right now. Since supposedly everyone else has been picking up the slack all season, at least now he is picking up the slack. And what better way to put fear in the heart of the opposition than having the star player begin his hitting surge.

    19. baileywalk
      September 4th, 2006 | 4:22 pm

      Looking at the way he hits against certain playoff-contending teams can give you some interesting stats (his numbers against the A’s, Tigers, Twins, White Sox and Mets are important), but looking at a hitter versus a team is also slightly pointless. It has to be individual pitchers to mean anything. Say a player sees the Twins twice. But he missed both Santana and Liriano. Or just saw one of them once. Do his numbers mean anything? If someone plays against the Yankees, but only gets Wang and Mussina once, but Wright, Ponson, and Wilson twice each, what do his numbers mean? Nothing.

      A more interesting study would be if you looked at everyone A-Rod has faced this year and broke down how he did against “good” pitchers — “good” being someone established, someone who’s winning currently, someone whose stuff is universally considered above-average.

    20. JeremyM
      September 4th, 2006 | 6:22 pm

      That Daily News article is so ridiculous.

    21. christopher
      September 4th, 2006 | 6:32 pm

      I agree that you have to look at how ARod has done against each pitcher on those teams. He hasn’t had much exposure to Liriano or Santana this year, but he’s absolutely killing all of the other starters on contending teams.

      Buehrle – .500, Contreras – .667, Freddy Garcia – .667, Garland – .333, Radke – .333, Silva – .556, Bonderman – .429, Robertson – .429, Verlander – 0 for 1 but .667 OBP, Kenny Rogers – 0 for 0 this year but .526 lifetime, Zito – .286 (both hits were HRs), Haren – .375, Saarloos – .500, Harden – .667…he’s killed everyone. And while he’s only had 2 ABs against Santana this year, he’s hitting a robust .250 lifetime with 2 HRs in 16 ABs. That’s better than most.

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