Nick Swisher's numbers looked as bad as anyone's in the just-completed ALDS: 2-for-18 with two walks and five strikeouts in the five games against the Orioles.
But Joe Girardi said Swisher, whose past postseason struggles with the Yankees have been well-documented, hasn't been as awful as his statistics. "Sometimes the numbers don't necessarily indicate how a guy's doing," Girardi said. "His at-bats have been pretty good."
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Swisher said before the ALDS that he pressed and put too much pressure on himself in recent postseasons. He went a combined 6-for-41 in the Yankees' previous two playoff series before the ALDS, and 2-for-18 wasn't the kind of start to this postseason he had been seeking.
"I told him [Friday], I said, 'Look at all the empty grass out there. There's a lot of green out there. Stop hitting it at people,' " Girardi said. "And he laughed. I think you have to remind guy because sometimes people get caught up in the numbers instead of the at-bats. You have to remind them, your swings have been [good]. He's putting the barrel of the bat to the ball. That's what you want."
Girardi decided to go with an extra pitcher, righthander Cody Eppley, instead of an extra infielder. "With [Hiroki] Kuroda coming back on some short rest and maybe some pitchers have to come back on short rest and them not having a lefthanded starter,'' he said, "I just felt we'd add a pitcher."
"I don't know that I would assume that he's 100 percent," Girardi said. "But I feel pretty good about him playing short. It's something we might have to fight through."
More RaulBecause the Tigers feature all righthanders in their rotation, Girardi said "for the most part," he sees Raul Ibañez as his everyday DH.
Ibañez went 4-for-9 in the ALDS, hitting the tying and winning homers in Game 3.