Just when you were wondering if it might have been worth considering starting Marcus Thames as DH against righties as well as lefties—he did hit seven of his 12 homers against righthanded pitchers—Lance Berkman shows why it’s a good idea to platoon.
Berkman’s bat had been somewhat productive but somewhat soft once he got off the disabled list. But the guy is a gamer, especially in big games. He has seven postseason home runs, including the one that put the Yankees up 2-1. As of now, he's a .327 lifetime postseason hitter.
Richard Justice, the Houston Chronicle columnist who knows Berkman well, said on XM radio the other day that Berkman was really, really eager for a chance to win. He came up with the Astros toward the end of a consistent playoff run, and he went to the 2005 World Series (he batted .385). He also was there for the steep decline. He said that once you get that taste of postseason, it sure leaves an empty feeling in your stomach when you’re not in it.
He is a solid guy, too. He took the silence and booing in stride when he first came to the Yankees (and leveled A-Rod with a batting practice liner). Being a good friend of Andy Pettitte from Astros days didn’t hurt him in the clubhouse.