- ‘Welcome to the edge of freedom’: Biden’s boots touch down in DMZ
- Obama: Hole U.S. ‘digging out of’ requires billions more in unemployment benefits
- Obama’s regulatory agenda will cost U.S. economy $143B next year: report
- Patriot Act author on James Clapper: Fire, prosecute him
- Russia P.M. Medvedev: No amnesty for political prisoners
- Michigan GOP Senate hopeful reminds government is the ‘servant’
- Christmas, by Congress: Members mull a 15-cent tax on trees
- U.S. unemployment falls to five-year low of 7 percent; 203K jobs added
- World mourns Nelson Mandela and celebrates his life; burial set for Dec. 15
- Bill O’Reilly reminds: Nelson Mandela ‘was a communist’
A-Rod, Granderson still out of lineup for Game 4
DETROIT (AP) - Alex Rodriguez was benched twice for the same game.
Rodriguez and Curtis Granderson were still out of New York's starting lineup for Game 4 of the AL championship series on Thursday, a day after the game was postponed by rain.
New York trailed 3-0 in the AL championship series against Detroit. Manager Joe Girardi has juggled his lineup throughout the postseason, trying to find the right combination.
The Yankees kept their lineup the same as it would have been Wednesday _ with Rodriguez on the bench for the third time in nine postseason games.
"There's really not a whole lot to change because of rain," Girardi said. "Our decisions aren't made on a whim."
Rodriguez pinch hit for Raul Ibanez in the sixth inning when Jim Leyland brought in left-hander Drew Smyly. A-Rod hit a flyball to center field to end the inning with runners on first and third. He dropped to 3 for 24 with no RBIs in these playoffs.
Granderson joined Rodriguez on the bench after another hitless night in Game 3 dropped the center fielder to 3 for 29 with 15 strikeouts. Granderson hit 43 homers with 106 RBIs this season.
"I wasn't in yesterday. I didn't expect it to change. I'll be ready whenever they need me," Granderson said. "My swing is OK. It could be better, but it is OK. It's hard to get a lot of hits when you are swinging at pitches out of the zone, and that's the big problem right now. It's a lot simpler if you swing at strikes."
Nick Swisher, benched in Game 3, returned to the lineup in right field and had an RBI double in the sixth inning. Eric Chavez started at third base in place of Rodriguez. Brett Gardner started in Granderson's normal spot.
Chavez entered 0 for 14 in the postseason.
"His at-bats have been OK," Girardi said. "I thought he got the barrel of the bat to (Detroit ace Justin) Verlander three times."
Rodriguez has looked particularly overmatched against right-handers, going 0 for 18 with 12 strikeouts in the postseason. Detroit's entire playoff rotation is right-handed, including Game 4 starter Max Scherzer.
Rodriguez's rocky postseason _ he's also been removed for a pinch-hitter three times _ raised questions about his future with the Yankees. He has $114 million and five years left on his contract, which includes a provision that he can't be traded without his approval.
"I feel he can help us. I don't worry about rumors. Any time you have a player of Alex's stature, it's going to be a hot-button," Girardi said. "No one knows what tomorrow holds for any of us."
New York ace CC Sabathia was slated to take the mound Thursday against Scherzer.
In Game 3, Girardi let Ibanez hit against left-hander Phil Coke in the ninth inning, and Ibanez ended the game by striking out. The switch-hitting Swisher _ not Rodriguez _ was in the on-deck circle preparing to pinch hit.
"I was ready to hit, and I was just waiting for my number to be called," Rodriguez said Wednesday. "Any time I'm in any lineup, I think that lineup is better and has a better chance to win. ... Any time I'm in the box, the game can change, and everyone knows that."
Wednesday's rainout also put the Yankees in a tough position with their starting rotation, making it less likely that Sabathia would be able to start Game 7 if the series lasts that long. Phil Hughes left Game 3 in the fourth inning with a stiff back, but Girardi says the prognosis on him is good.
"We believe that he's going to be OK, and he could be available," Girardi said.
- Bill OReilly reminds: Nelson Mandela was a communist
- Spike in battlefield deaths linked to restrictive rules of engagement
- Obama: Hole U.S. 'digging out of' requires billions more in unemployment benefits
- Snow storm sucker punch: U.S. hit by winter wave
- Syria mess may spawn 'Islamic emirate' world must deal with, says Iraq's top diplomat
- U.S. pilot scares off Iranians with 'Top Gun'-worthy stunt: 'You really ought to go home'
- Hack attack: 2 million Facebook, Twitter passwords stolen
- U.S. debt jumps a record $328 billion tops $17 trillion for first time
- GORDON: Purging America's military
- Obamacare's bold vision turns murky: Health reform downsized, promises broken
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Get in the middle of all the action inside and outside the boxing ring.
Opinion, analysis, and musings on politics, pop culture, reinvention, and the resultant flotsam and jetsam floating around the right-of-center quadrant of the Left Coast.
The cold hard truth about politics in America today and the state of this once great nation.
Find the latest news and happening that effect those in the Washington D.C., Northern Virginia and Maryland Metro region.
White House pets gone wild!