Alex Rodriguez has 2,775 hits, 629 home runs, 1,893 RBIs and 5,215 total bases. He is a historically great baseball player, but Thursday night, he made history for a reason he’d probably not be proud of.
With the Yankees trailing 3-2 with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning, A-Rod stepped to the plate to face Tigers closer Jose Valverde, who had mowed down Curtis Granderson and Robinson Cano in just seven pitches.
The exchange went like this: Strike one, strike two, ball one, strike three, game over.
It capped off an 0-for-4 night with three strikeouts (one with the bases loaded) for Rodriguez, who became the first player in the history of baseball to end his team’s season in the playoffs with a strikeout in two straight years. The distinction was noted by Elias Sports Bureau, according to ESPN’s John Buccigross.
Last year, with the Yankees trailing the Rangers 6-1, Rodriguez faced Rangers closer Neftali Feliz and went down looking on four pitches, ending New York’s season and sending the Rangers to the World Series.
Long known as a regular-season juggernaut who regularly came up short in the playoffs, Rodriguez appeared to have exorcised those demons in 2009, when he hit .365 with six homers on the Bombers’ way to their 27th World Series championship. Since then, though, he’s hitting .180 with zero homers in 14 postseason games.
The good news for the Yankees? A-Rod is under contract through 2017 at the low cost of $143 million, so he’ll have plenty of more time to etch his name in the history books.
Don’t you just feel bad for Alex?
“It’s devastating. This is going to hurt for a long time.”
–Alex Rodriguez, after his 0-for-4 night
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