Alex Rodriguez struck out in the ninth inning with a chance for 500 home runs. Perhaps it’s just as well.
Kansas City will start Jorge De La Rosa tomorrow night. In one of those quirks of history that makes baseball so great, he allowed A-Rod’s 400th home while pitching for Milwaukee on June 8, 2005.
â€œThatâ€™s a crazy thing. Pretty unbelievable that it would work out that way,â€? Rodriguez said. “I saw that coming a few days ago. This game works in funny ways.”
Rodriguez was humble as he spoke of making history. He turns 32 on Friday. The youngest player to get to 500 at the moment is Jimmie Foxx, who was 27 days short of his 33rd birthday in 1941.
“I was a shortstop. I figured if I hit 100 home runs and had a few thousand hits, thatâ€™s pretty phenomenal,â€? said Rodriguez, who switched to third base when he was traded to the Yankees in 2004. â€œI come from a pretty humble background in Miami. I never thought I would come this far.â€?
Joe Torre marveled at No. 499. With a runner on the move, A-Rod was trying to hit a ball in the hole. He did, only the ball kept rising.
â€œThatâ€™s a line drive in the gap for anybody else,â€? Torre said. â€œFor a line drive to stay in the air for that long, especially in one of the deepest parts of the park, you have to have a special talent for that.â€?
Here’s A-Rod’s interview tonight. It was his best group session of the season in my estimation:
Meanwhile, the Yankees are making up ground in big chunks. They now trail the Red Sox by 6.5 games, the closest they have been since May 9. The Yanks have won six straight, 11 of 13, 15 of 19 and 17 of 22.