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Is tonight the night for A-Rod's 600th homer?

New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez (13)

New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez (13) grounds out in the bottom of the first inning against the Toronto Blue Jays at Yankee Stadium. (Aug. 2, 2010) Credit: Christopher Pasatieri

Well, the law of averages says it should be with each passing night, but the numbers suggest otherwise.

We know Alex Rodriguez has now taken the longest time after his 599th homer to hit No. 600. But this recent power drought has become something of a trend this season.

He currently has 16 homers on the season, which is seven fewer than his career low for a full season when he hit 23 with Seattle in 1997. If he continues at his current pace, he'll finish with 25.

Just three of those 16 dingers have come off lefthanded pitchers, which he'll see tonight in Ricky Romero, against whom he is 4-for-13 (.308) with a double, two RBIs, a walk and three strikeouts. Last year, Rodriguez hit eight of his 30 homers off lefties. For his career, 146 of his 599 have come off southpaws (24.3 percent).

Said A-Rod of Romero just a couple hours ago: "He has good stuff. He's obviously one of the top lefties in our division, and in the whole American League, in my opinion. He has four or five plus pitches, and he's very unpredictable. He throws any pitch at any time, it's gonna be a challenge."

Forgetting about home runs for a second (I know it's hard, but try), Rodrguez hasn't even gotten a hit in his last 14 at-bats, dating back to an RBI single in Cleveland on Thursday. His .266 batting average is his lowest mark since he was at .262 after a May 7 game in Boston. Since No. 599, he is 9-for-43 (.209) with seven RBIs.

A-Rod has been so bad lately, he doesn't even want to show his face in the team picture. Just kidding, but A-Rod missing the team picture has been the "big news" around the Stadium this afternoon.

The Yankees are 6-5 in the 11 games since Rodriguez hit No. 599, which isn't bad but it's allowed Tampa Bay to pull even with them in the AL East at 66-39

So A-Rod has put the pursuit of No. 600 on the back burner with the Yankees "needing" a win. 

"It's not just about hitting home runs," Rodriguez said. "We've learned our lesson. The key is just to think small. Everyone's got to do their part and I'm one of those guys."

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