A-Rod, despite quiet bat, happy about Yanks' sweep
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After the all-world postseason he had in 2009 - big hit after big hit - Alex Rodriguez was quiet at the plate as the Yankees dispatched the Twins in three games in the American League Division Series.
Rodriguez had three singles in 11 at-bats, with his only RBI on a fourth-inning sacrifice fly in Game 2. His slugging percentage was the same as his batting average: .273.
When Game 3 was over Saturday night and the Yankees celebrated with a Champagne shower in the clubhouse, Rodriguez was just as happy as if he had carried the team on his back.
"I think everybody contributed, everyone helped out," Rodriguez said. "It just tells you how deep our roster is, how everyone can just do a little bit."
If you had to pick an offensive star for the Yankees in the ALDS, it probably would be Mark Teixeira, who batted .308 with a tiebreaking two-run home run in the series opener and an RBI single in the clincher.
Or maybe Curtis Granderson, whose two-run triple in Game 1 off lefthander Francisco Liriano gave the Yankees their first lead of the series. Granderson went 5-for-11 (.455) in his first postseason series as a Yankee.
Or how about Lance Berkman? He put the Yankees ahead twice in Game 2 with a solo home run and RBI double.
Nick Swisher, previously a .155 career postseason hitter, homered and hit .333 in the series. Robinson Cano also hit .333. Marcus Thames had a two-run homer in Game 3. Jorge Posada had three hits in the series, including a pair of key RBI singles. Brett Gardner drove in a run and stole a base. Derek Jeter? Four singles and an RBI in 14 at-bats.
In fact, the only Yankees position player who appeared in the ALDS and didn't do something positive at the plate was Greg Golson. And that's only because he never got an at-bat. He just played defense.
"That's kind of how this team has been built the whole year," manager Joe Girardi said. "That we expect everyone to produce. We don't just rely on one or two guys. And we have a lot of depth on our club. You think about the production we got from our two DHs in this series. Pretty good. And we rely on a circular lineup."
The circular lineup likely will come back to the cleanup hitter at some key moment in the ALCS. Whether the Yankees play the Rays or Rangers, there will come a time when A-Rod will have to be A-Rod for the Yankees to advance to the World Series.
For now, though, the Yankees will watch and wait for their next opponent to reveal itself.
"We know what the goal is," Rodriguez said. "This is a necessary step and we took care of business. We're happy about that. We're going to get a couple of days rest and we'll come back ready Friday."