A-Rod is hurting himself too

Now, I will agree with William that O’Day is a good pitcher, and good pitchers will at times make good pitches. But championship teams tend to have good hitters in the middle of their order, and good hitters often hit good pitches, so simply doffing your cap to O’Day isn’t much of a winning strategy, in no small part because A-Rod has made it easy on him in the first two games. Check out Alex’s seventh inning at bat against him from Game One:

The thing is, there’s really no particularly good pitch here, other than the 0-2 pitch in the corner that Tony Randazzo called a ball. O’Day more or less dominated A-Rod in this at bat largely because Alex helped him out by fouling off a fastball that was up and over the middle of the plate and then chasing a slider a foot off of the plate to put himself in an 0-2 count. Now let’s look at his at bat against O’Day from last night:

What’s the first thing that leaps out at you in this plot? The three belt high pitches across the zone? The first two such pitches that are over the plate, both of which A-Rod failed to so much as put in play? Again, there are some good pitches here, but A-Rod doesn’t do himself any favors by not taking advantage of the hittable pitches he did get. Yes, O’Day made some good pitches, mostly late in the at bat to put A-Rod away, but he also gave Alex three pitches over the plate and in the upper half of the zone, not a one of which was put into play, let alone hit hard. You do have to tip your cap to good pitchers sometimes, but you also have to make them pay when they give you something to hit. Especially if you’re batting third in the lineup in the postseason.

Born in Southwestern Ohio and currently residing on the Chesapeake Bay, Brien is a former editor-in-chief of IIATMS who now spends most of his time sitting on his deck watching his tomatoes ripen and consuming far more MLB Network programming than is safe for one's health or sanity.

38 thoughts on “A-Rod is hurting himself too

  1. williamjtasker

    Not every fat pitch is put in play. Not even for the best like Cano. Sometimes they are fouled off. And what the chart doesn't show us is how much movement is on the pitches, whether the sequence fooled the batter.

    I can agree that A-Rod did not get the job done. But it just seems a bit much to string the lightning rod of a guy up after eight post season plate appearances either.

    • Well, he hit .261/.341/.369 in September and .256/.326/.391 against RHP over the entire season as well. And, visually, he’s just be totally over matched by the Orioles’ righties, especially O’Day and Johnson. It’s not just about two games worth of data.

      • dan p

        .717 OPS is playing against right handed pitching when a guy with an OPS above .900 sits on the bench! Go Binder Go you eunuch! FIVE bleeping K's in 2 games!

  2. dan p

    5 K's in 2 games all against right handed pitching. He is a platoon bat at this time. This series is being managed just like last year against the Tigers. The Yankees win when they can come up with a big inning and lose the close games.

    I wouldn't be surprised to see the O's win the next 2.

    • jay_robertson

      No, they'll split the next too, just to set up the killer GAME FIVE FINALE in the Stadium.

      This IS a business. Never forget that.

      • dan p

        I never forget this is a business…I have ZERO faith in the eunuch to do the right things.

    • chad

      What if they get a big inning in a close game, like in game 1? Do they not get credit for winning a close game because they scored too many runs in the 9th?

    • Moiuz

      Dan k, you are an idiot. Didn't jeter and nunuez leave bases loaded last night? Or are we choosing to single out ONE player based on the amount of money he makes? Yes, he needs to play better. He hit the ball hard all night. Perhaps another hit would have stopped this non sense talk. Yes, he's not "Alex Rodriguez" that we have been used to. But to suggest he's a platoon player at this point is just absurd. Why are you failing to mention arods attempt to keep hardy at the third when jeter failed to make a semi routine play? Is it because jeter is God send messiah and he can't be touch? Or fans are so blinded that no matter what arod does, is never good enough.

      As far as last years seizes go against the tigers, why are you failing to remember that ENTIRE team left bases loaded atleast twice during the game.

      Why are we failing to mention jeter contract negotiation?

      Why do fans hate this guy so much that no matter what he does is never good enough? Why are we expecting him to go 4 – 4 with million RBI's a game? Perhaps he is an easy target? While jeter , the messiah, can't be touched. Why aren't we ripping swisher? Why aren't we ripping granderson who couldn't stop himself from striking out even if his life was on the line?

      Perhaps , diehard fan, I'm an idiot who doesn't understand New york? Is it because I am from LA?

      • Moiuz

        I am so irritated that fans chose to single one player out. It goes back to no one told the YANKEES to re-negotiate his contract. Yankees paid what they thought his value was. I don't think anyone is worth $275 million and Pujols is going to have same issue.

        You "fans" are absurb. Perhaps leave God forsaken shi**y weather coast and come to LA. Where is it more to LIFE than to spit venom on ONE player 24/7/365. Perhaps little less depressing weather will make you less tense and will help you mellow out. Being mellow does not mean you are not a rabid fan (I chose not to wear a redsox hat even though i was offered a $500 cash and i pissed on Celtics jersey in the parking lot of the hospital when the lakers beat the celtics in the NBA finals). All i am saying is let it go and blame the TEAM not one player.

        Yankees will NOT win or lose the series or the playoffs because of ONLY ONE PLAYER.

        P.S..Arod's is not paying me to defend him. Cheers from Sunny Cali!!

        Arghh…hopefully, i won't kill my patient in the OR today. Damn you DAN!

        • moiuz

          I would do this:

          Jeter, Ichiro, Cano, Texiera, Arod, Granderson, DH, Swisher, Martin

          • Eli

            You are very funny. These are the New York Yankees, us Yankees fans will always be this way. Also the reason we keep bringing up Arod is the fact the Jeter had two hits and even Nunez got on base. Also neither of those guys are expected to carry the team. Arod has failed to deliver in the playoffs his only bright spot was 2009. Just a refresher do you remember how the last two Yankees post-seasons have ended, yes that's right Arod striking out.

          • Moiuz

            Yea, i do remember. I remember watching every series as far as i can remember. Well, i am 26 so i haven't experienced anything but success in terms of the yankees so i am spoiled. I am always get crap for being a diehard yankee fan in LA (hate the angels).

            I agree that arod has struck out last 2 post season ending series, but why are we failing to mention everything that transpired BEFORE Arod's at bat? I am sure he's not the reason why the yankees lost the series. Sure, he had a role to play in the lost but he is not alone. So why are we singling out Arod?

            Stats from previous post seasons:

            2011:
            Granderson: .250 with 1 HR, 3 Rbi's and 7k
            Jeter: .250 with 0HR and 2Rbi and 8K
            Swisher: 0.211 with 1hr and 1Rbi and 8k
            texiera: 0.167 with 0 HR and 1 rbi and 5k
            Arod: 0.11 with 0 Hr and 3 Rbi and 6k

            Why are we killing ONLY AROD?

            2010:
            Granderson: 0.357, 1hr, 6rbi 5k
            jeter: 0.250, 0hr and 2 rbi and 10k
            arod: 0.219, 0hr and 3 rbi and 6k
            swisher: 0.176, 2 hr and 2 rbi
            tex: .148, 1 hr and 3 rbi

            WHY ARE WE KILLING AROD?

            2007:
            AROD: 0.267, 1 hr, 1 rbi
            jeter: 0.176, 0 hr and 1 rbi
            matsui and giambi, damon etc

            Why are we kiling Arod?

            These stats are for ENTIRE postseason http://newyork.yankees.mlb.com/stats/sortable.jsp

          • John

            Completely agree with you Moiuz and I'm glad you said it. A-rod always seems to get the brunt of any Yankee losses and never seems to get credit for the wins.

            Loss: He's a bum! Why are we paying him $32M?
            Win: Meh. He's supposed to do that.

            Granted he has earned some of that because of his antics, steroid use, and what is (let's face it) a ridiculous contract, but he also never gets any credit when he does come through. I can almost guarantee that Pujols will not face the same vitriol when he is tanking at .250 with 20 HR and 60 RBIs at the end of his contract.

            And let's be honest, it's not his fault the Yankees caved and gave him that stupid contract and he would have been a fool to say "Nah, I don't deserve that. Pay me half of that and we got a deal."

            Further, I just don't believe A-Rod is done. This season has been really rough and last season was not great either, but he has also been dealing with injuries and just has never seemed to be able to get into a rhythm since '09. I mean are we going to get on a guy for having two down years with injury? '10 wasn't great but he still had 30 HR / 125 RBI / and a .847 OPS.

            I still see him bouncing back and having some good years. I also expect him to still play a big part (good) in this year's playoffs. Let's not kick the guy to the curb yet.

            And can we stop with the whole not worth 30M? It's not my money.

          • Moiuz

            Completely agree John. And no one is mentioning his heads up play (keeping Hardy at a third when jeter failed to make semi-routine play). Arod's play prevented 1 extra run from being scored. Now, if Jeter would have made that play then everyone and their non existing relatives would have been praising Jeter for a heads up play. Everyone would have been saying, "See, thats what a true yankee does."

            I agree with you that he is not done. Sure, he won't put up 40Hr, 130Rbi's etc but he can still put up 25-30Hr, 80-100RBI's with a .280ish average. Why would you EVER want to platoon a guy with these numbers?

            I think we need to "mellow out" and let everyone else share some blame. People, blaming jeter once is a while, won't prevent him from giving a rats ass about you or me(haha).

            As far as this post season goes, series JUST started. I am not one of those idiot fans who have lost touch with reality. Its a game people. One of my patient (< 5yo) is suffering from Acute lymphoblastic leukemia and is mostly likely going to die in few months. So whats more important? May be its me with a perspective. I am not saying, i won't cry myself to sleep if the yankees lose. I am not saying i won't be depress for a week if the yankees lose. I have never seen postseason after the yankees have been eliminated because it hurts too much. But we gotta have perspective. Hating on ONE player is getting old. No matter what happens, its always Arods fault. If the TEAM WINS, then EVERYONE shares credit.

            Let his contract go people. Let it go. Its a horrible contract but no one forced the Yankees to pay him this much. IN reality, yankees probably could have signed him at 200mill or even less because NO ONE else was going to pay him that kind of money. Hell, if someone offered me that kind of money why wouldn't i take it? Wouldn't you?

            As far as pujols go, i was referring to his stats declining in couple of years. However, he won't be scrutinized as much. Why? because well LA has great weather which means we don't have to spend our days in doors. IF the lakers suck, ill go and do something else. Fans will go and surf in the morning or drive 60 miles east of Orange county and go snowboarding (big bear). All of that in DECEMBER.

            Like john said, when the yankees win then meh, he was suppose to do that. If the yankees lose then "what a f* bum. He is not a true yankee. He can't play. Move him down the order, cut him, bench him or scold him" WTF, you people are drinking. Lay off of that gin juice and please get some perspective (most respectfully).

          • Leo

            I agree with you and John. But honestly, a guy which 32M is going to his account this year, at least has to show some blood. I mean, he has the top salary in baseball. He plays like thats just his work and nothing else. Yes, if you look at it, it is. But, come on, if i was getting that kind of money, i would get out the field with blood in my eyes, winning or losing. In my opinion, he doesn't show heart, he doesn't really cares if we win this year or not.

            Jeter is kinda different, you clearly see he cares about his history at the organization. Maybe its just me with this opinion, but i guess thats why people is always blaming A-rod. With top salary comes higher expectations and responsibilities.

          • Moiuz

            How would you like him to show that he cares? Do you want him to throw a hissy fist? Do you want me to grab the umpire on a bad call and shake him up? Do you want me to charge the mound? Do you want him to take his bat and go nuts in the dug out? Do you want him to throw his helmet on the ground or swing at his helmet? How do you want him to show he cares?

            Doesn't he act like a kid when ichiro was doing ichiro dance last night? Isnt the first one or near the top step of the dug out congratulating teammates on a hit/HR/ nice play? Do you see him sitting by himself, dis engaged from everyone in the dug out?

            What makes you say that he does not care about the history of the organization? Like what would you like him to do or say to make you and other fans believe that "He's a true yankee?"

            Statement that Arod does not care is preposterous. He works harder than everyone on the team. Thats according to andrew marchand and michael K. Its JUST NOT FAIR TO SAY HE DOES NOT CARE.

            I think your statements, he doesn't show heart, is a cop out. He is a very easy target because of his salary, his previous antics and his name.

          • Agreed. Saying he doesn't care is careless.

          • John

            Exactly. And did you see his reaction when he learned he had a broken wrist? It was if someone had just died. Only someone who truly loves the game and is torn up that he can't help his team has that reaction. I think that was also his frustration of not being healthy for two straight seasons boiling over. This guys loves to play baseball. Yeah, he's made some bad decisions, and really was a complete douche in his earlier years, but as far as I can tell he has a been a completely different player since his roid admission in '09. Team player, always gives his all, and is always devastated when he doesn't come through.

            From my perspective, A-Rod puts enough pressure on himself. Can't we give him some slack?

          • Eli

            You talk about chilling out because we have nothing better to do let me tell you. I live in south Florida there plenty to do here and my taxes are way lower than yours. You are the one who's having a brain aneurysm about the Afraud hate. I don't think anybody is saying he's the only one at fault here however, he's a big part. Remembering that they have different roles let's look at Afraud and another player that has been here the through all the same post-seasons. Only using the stats from years that Afraud has been here until the present.
            Afraud: BA .235, 10 HR, 33 RBI, 35 Walks, 52 SO, 37 Runs
            Derek Jeter: BA .300, 5 HR, 27 RBI, 23 Walks, 48 SO, 40 Runs
            Mind you those stats include his out of this world numbers in 2009 if you take out the 6 HR's and 18 RBI's from 2009 he hasn't done much if anything at all. But being fair you can't those number from him but know those number greatly askew his performance. He hasn't been bad over the years in post season play with the Yankees he's been downright terrible for 3-4 hitter in the line up.

          • John

            Ok, that's comparing him to Jeter. But what if you compare him to Tex, or Swisher, or Grandy? We're not saying he's not underperforming. We are saying you can't lay all the blame at his feet, which is essentially what the majority of people do.

            Does anybody lay blame at this guys feet?

            77 G, 279 AB, 36 R, 69 H, 14 2B, 8 HR, 32 RBI, 57 SO, 30 BB, .247/.312/.384

            Anyone know who this is? I can tell you he never got the hate that A-Rod is getting, despite being a big time slugger for the Yankees and having similar stats in about 22 more games.

            Bottom line, A-Rod is treated completely differently and it's bogus.

          • Eli

            That's fine I agree the blame should be shared. But calling people idiots and talking about how they are angry because they live in New York doesn't make any sense and its unnecessary. Also the Arod blunders have been magnified due to the situations. Trust me I'll be the first to tell you Swisher has done nothing over the years (I even commented about that yesterday) and texeira hasn't been more productive either. Jeter has been looking old in the field in the past two games as well. But outsisde of the 2009 playoffs arod has been a fraud and a failure. I didn't like the trade in 2003 that brought him to the Yankees and I will continue to point out the fact that he has not been good in the playoffs and because others have been bad too it doesn't make his failures any less important.

          • John

            Fair enough. Throwing around names is no way to have a discussion. People are very passionate about A-Rod in both directions. I'm a big fan, but my Dad hates the Yankees ever got him. You aren't my Dad incognito are you? :)

            In any case, we probably should just agree to disagree.

            Btw, any guess on who's stat line that is above? Hint is that he might be hated by Padre fans the most for one at bat in the WS.

          • Eli

            Tino but that doesn't include his last year with the Yankees that's why It took me longer to find it. And no I'm not your father but I agree to disagree.

          • Moiuz

            Eli, i agree with everything you are saying. I don't think anyone is saying that is that Arod's is not to blame. I have no problem blaming Alex for lack of production when it is needed the most. However, we shouldn't blame him for everything. Its a team game. Everyone including Alex needs to play better.

            My biggest issue is: Alex is a very easy target because of his salary etc and NO WILL dare criticize Jeter and most of the time rightfully so. Jeter has been nothing but clutch and he has been good for many years. But to say Arod is the ONLY ONE at fault is insane.

            2011 Postseason:
            Granderson: .250 with 1 HR, 3 Rbi's and 7k
            Jeter: .250 with 0HR and 2Rbi and 8K
            Swisher: 0.211 with 1hr and 1Rbi and 8k
            texiera: 0.167 with 0 HR and 1 rbi and 5k
            Arod: 0.11 with 0 Hr and 3 Rbi and 6k

            2010:
            Granderson: 0.357, 1hr, 6rbi 5k
            jeter: 0.250, 0hr and 2 rbi and 10k
            arod: 0.219, 0hr and 3 rbi and 6k
            swisher: 0.176, 2 hr and 2 rbi
            tex: .148, 1 hr and 3 rbi

            Bottom line: Arod is a very easy target and no matter what he does, he will never satisfy the fans. I just get irritated when he gets all the blame whenever everyone is equally at fault.

            I was listening to michael Ks show today and he was mentioning that before Arod signed with the yankees, Michael told Arod, "Alex, this would be your biggest mistake. Alex: Why? Michael: Because you will never be DEREK." Meaning If Arod wins 1 ring then Jeter has 5. If Arod wins 2 then Jeter has 6. Arod had a great 2009 post season but Jeter has had many more (1996-2001).

          • John

            Holy crap, you're right. That's what happens when I try to do a quick calc in a spreadsheet. Completely forgot the 2005 line. Good catch.

            And Moiuz, you are right that Alex will never be Derek. But you'd have to agree that he brought those comparisons on himself with the comments he made earlier in his career. Granted Alex and Derek. don't care about that, but fans aren't quite so forgiving.

          • Moiuz

            Yea, but fans gotta get over stuff. But hey fans is short for Fanatics. Just ask Tebow..

            I am Denver fan. I was glad to have tebow but thrilled to have Manning.

          • John

            I'm a Giants fan and I'm thrilled to have Manning as well. :)

            I'm hoping for a Manning vs. Manning SB at some point just so I can witness the media insanity.

  3. Tom

    I know Girardi is looking to get A-Rod going, but he needs to move down in the lineup. 3rd spot in the order is right in the middle of all the action, and A-Rod isn't the guy we want there. The problem is, between A-Rod, Tex, Swisher, and Granderson, none are really stepping up to warrant hitting in front of Cano. Those four are the key. If one gets going, you can't pitch around Cano anymore and the lineup really has muscle.

  4. Marcus

    Willie Mays age 36- .263/ .334/ .453
    Alex Rodriguez age 36- .272 /.353/ .430

    Even he greatest players get old and can't perform very well anymore. It's sad to watch but it happens.

  5. ArtVandelay

    Glad to see some people sticking up for A-Rod here. That article from some dumb-dumb NY beat writer (forget which) saying that A-Rod needs to carry the Yankees to a WS to vindicate himself feels like it must have been copied and pasted from pre-2009 post-season. We've already had this discussion. A-Rod CARRIED the Yanks to a 2009 WS title with clutch hit after clutch hit. Wasn't that what he needed to do? Have people totally forgotten that happened?

    I was at a game late in the season when people literally started booing A-Rod with two strikes. He hadn't even made an out yet! (Which he did, but that's besides the point.) And of course the tabloids pin the loss on A-Rod last night, as if the rest of the "offense" was not equally bad. Of course, as has been aptly noted here by Brien, it's all the worse to come down on him now, when he's really looking like a shell of himself, no doubt partly due to the hand injury.

    Move him down a spot or two in the order, sure. But let's stop with the constant A-Rod scapegoating.

    • John

      Here's the truth Art. It's a team oriented sport UNLESS A-Rod fails to come through. Then it's his fault and his fault only. That is how the majority of fans and beat writers treat A-Rod. Bottom line. And it sucks.

      • Moiuz

        100% agree.

    • Moiuz

      I think most fans are already expecting Arod to fail (rightfully so) even before the game starts. Most fans have already made up their minds, have already written stories emphasizing his failure during TODAY's game which hasn't even been played yet. Its either you hate Arod and you will criticize him no matter. Whether he fails in RISP or fails to get a big hit. If he performs then its not good enough because its only one game or one series. If he performs through out a series or a set of games, then he is doing what he is suppose to do. Because thats what they are paying him for. They are paying him to perform in EVERY SINGLE GAME. Performance standard for Alex is not the same as performance standard for granderson, CC ( 25mill this year). Performance standard for Alex is somewhere along the lines of 4-4, 3 RBIs and game winning hit/HR each game. Anything less than this is blasphemy.

      • John

        Unfortunately that comes with making $32M. Inflated expectations. I'd expect it if I made that much. However, I don't agree with him taking the majority of the blame in a TEAM oriented sport. And as was said above, his mistakes are magnified because of the situation. It always seems that A-Rod winds up being the last guy up in a game.

        • Moiuz

          Yea, It is what it is. Hopefully fans will learn to let it go. Btw, hes making 27 mill this year just 2 mill more than CC.

          • John

            That's what I get for listening to my Dad. He does make $32M in one of his contract years though doesn't he?

  6. jim

    with 0 outs in the first and men o 1st and 2nd why did A-Rod not try to bunt them over. With Cano on deck.and getting a double 3 runs would have scored.

  7. rick.s

    A-Rod was LeBron before LeBron was LeBron. But it's funny that even though A-Rod ABSOLUTELY CARRIED the 2009 Yankees, he's still getting this sad treatment.

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