Alex Rodriguez encouraged by lineout, hard single
GalleriesDerek Jeter suffers broken ankle ALCS Game 2: Tigers 3, Yankees 0 Memorable Yankee playoff moments
"It's definitely not an ideal situation," Alex Rodriguez said. "You'd rather be up 2-0 and facing a Triple-A pitcher. That would be nice."
Rodriguez showed signs of life in the late innings of the Yankees' 3-0 loss to the Tigers in Sunday's Game 2.
After striking out in his first two at-bats against Anibal Sanchez, A-Rod lined out to left in the seventh against the righthander. In the ninth, with the Yankees down to their final out, he lined a single to center against former Yankees lefthander Phil Coke.
"I thought the last two at-bats were better for me," said Rodriguez, who is 1-for-7 with three strikeouts in the ALCS after going 2-for-16 with nine strikeouts in the ALDS. "As long as you made solid contact and have something to build on, I feel good, and I think I can build on that."
Said batting coach Kevin Long: "What are you going to look at today that was a positive for Alex? He got better as the game went along. He lined out to left -- made an adjustment there -- and he finished off with a line drive to center. That's something to build on. That's what we're going to do."
Rodriguez is 8-for-24 (.333) with three home runs and seven RBIs against Verlander in the regular season. He has been really good against the righthander this year. On April 27, he went 2-for-3 with a home run against him. On June 3, he was 2-for-3 with a home run and a walk.
But the Yankees are scuffling now, and one single off a lefthander isn't what the team is paying A-Rod $29 million to do. He was booed after the strikeouts and got some pity cheers after the lineout. But he said he isn't down on the fans for being down on him.
"We haven't scored a run in a long time," he said. "I'm right there with them. You can't blame them. You can't blame our fans. We've got to go out there and score runs. We have the ability and we have a lineup that's equipped to score a lot of runs."
So what's going to make them all snap out of it?
"It may start with a change of scenery," Rodriguez said. "I think getting a rest [Monday], take a deep breath, everybody come out and not try to do too much."