Marc Carig and I started talking about this last night…
Several weeks ago, Andy Pettitte was talking about Alex Rodriguez and said this: “He can tell me almost every pitch I’ve thrown throughout the course of a game… He’s always in the game. His head’s up. He’s always prepared. That’s why he’s such a great player.”
Last night, Rodriguez said this: “I chased in the first inning, a slider down, but Westbrook had good stuff. He had us off balance all day. With the exception of a 3-2 fastball away to Jorge, and I think it was a 1-0 changeup to Granderson, he didn’t make many mistakes.”
Pretty much every hitter in the game would have remembered swinging and missing at a slider out of the zone, but I’m not sure how many would have known the count on Posada’s single and Granderson’s home run. Especially not a player who wasn’t close to coming to the plate at the time of those hits. Gameday labeled the Granderson homer a fastball, not a changeup, but the point remains the same.
Rodriguez locks himself into the game. There have been times the past few days when he’s swung for the fences in pursuit of No. 600, but I can’t imagine there are many 599-homer guys who haven’t occasionally swung out of their shoes.
“People are screaming and flashbulbs are going,” Joe Girardi said. “He’s not going to be able to get away from it. He can’t.”
But he doesn’t have to let it affect him, and Rodriguez seems to be doing a pretty good job of that.