It was the second time A-Rod has
been benched this postseason. He's hitting .130 (3-for-23) with no RBIs
in the playoffs, including 0-for-18 with 12 strikeouts against
right-handers. Detroit right-hander Justin Verlander, the AL MVP and Cy
Young Award winner, took the mound Tuesday against New York, trying to
help the Tigers to a 3-0 lead in the best-of-seven series.
Swisher has struggled about as
much as Rodriguez, hitting .154 (4-for-26) this postseason. He is 1-for-34 with runners in scoring position in his postseason career.
Eric Chavez, 0-for-11 in the
playoffs, started at third base in place of Rodriguez. Brett Gardner led
off and played left field, his first start since April 17.
Rodriguez's benching came
following a New York Post report, citing an unidentified witness, that
said A-Rod flirted with two attractive female fans sitting near the New
York dugout after he was pulled late in Game 1 against Detroit. Girardi
would not comment on that report and said the decision to bench A-Rod
was strictly performance related.
"We talked about the dimensions
here, and we talked about, fly-ball pitcher today, and we've had some
guys struggling, so we decided to make some changes," Girardi said.
Swisher was unable catch Delmon
Young's double in the 12th inning of Game 1, a 6-4 Detroit win, saying
he lost the ball in the lights. Swisher, who is eligible for free
agency, complained after Game 2 about hearing from angry home fans in
the right-field corner.
"I wouldn't say desperate. We are
down 2-0 but there was an extended period of time when opportunities
were given and now we're going to give them to some other people who are
legitimate major league guys who can contribute," general manager Brian
Cashman said. "It's not like we're dropping off the face of the earth."
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