With all the hoopla surrounding Derek Jeter's performance at the plate on Wednesday night in the Bronx (the Yankees captain tied Lou Gehrig for most hits as a Yankee with 2,721), New York?s win was almost an afterthought. Down 2-0 to rookie Tampa Bay pitcher Jeff Niemann, the Yankees rallied for a four-run eighth inning against a beleaguered Tampa Bay bullpen to post a 4-2 victory on Jeter's historic night.
Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez, who has taken a backseat to Jeter's headlines recently, served as the catalyst for the team?s comeback as he singled to lead off the bottom of the eighth. After another base hit and a throwing error by Rays first baseman Chris Richard, Rodriguez scored, plating the Yankees? first run. The comeback was complete when catcher Jorge Posada launched a three-run homer to put the Yanks on top 4-2.
Rodriguez has been playing very well lately, batting .424 and slugging 1.018 in September. Historically, Rodriguez has tailed off slightly in September and October, but this season, he is showing no signs of decline. That?s an encouraging sign for the Yankees and a troublesome one for opponents.
By taking off two months to recover from arthroscopic hip surgery during spring training and the beginning of the season, Rodriguez appears fresher and stronger down the stretch than he has in years past.