Only three players in history have reached nine home runs in fewer games than Alex Rodriguez – Mike Schmidt (10 games in 1976), Luis Gonzalez (10 games in 2001) and Larry Walker (12 games in 1997).
Gonzalez finished with 57 home runs and 142 RBI that season.
If Alex matches or betters that in the era of drug testing, it would be quite a statement.
Kei Igawa has allowed five earned runs in his last 11.1 innings. I didn’t get a chance to use this in my story, but when I asked Igawa if this was representative of how he pitched in Japan, he shook his head. “This is considered my minimum,” he said through his translator. “I have a lot I want to improve on.”
I asked Mike Myers about Igawa and he made a good point. Aggressive teams like Cleveland and Tampa Bay will have trouble with Igawa because he’s around the plate and throws two breaking pitches and a change for strikes. More patient teams will wait on his fastball.
Igawa is probably going to get 12 or 13 wins but he’ll also have some games when he’s at 100 pitches in the third inning. Once they get their injured starters back, he’s an acceptable fourth or fifth starter.
You can expect a lot of hype in the coming days as the team heads into Boston. But keep in mind that the Yankees are one game out of first with their rotation in shambles. Nothing that happens in the next four days is going to change the course of the season.
They will get their starters back and eventually Boston will go through some rough patches with their guys. If the Yankees head to Tampa on Tuesday two or three games out of first with the Wanger coming back, they’re in great shape.
Meanwhile we will close the day with some postgame audio clips from Joe Torre:
And Alex Rodriguez (sorry for the scribbling):