The Yankees ability to win without Alex Rodriguez remains one of the most baffling stats of the season. They’d won eight in a row without him, and now that he’s back, they’ve lost two straight.
And he’s been their best hitter in both games.
Tonight, Rodriguez took a new place in baseball history. With his home run and his sacrifice fly, Rodriguez became the first player in baseball history to have 14 seasons of at least 100 RBI. His 13 consecutive 100-RBI seasons tied Lou Gehrig and Jimmie Foxx for the longest such streak of all time.
“It feels good,” Rodriguez said. “You try to come out and be consistent every year… I certainly feel pretty good (since coming back from the calf injury). I’m seeing the ball well.”
The past two 100 RBI seasons have come in years when Rodriguez has battled injuries. This one has come in a year when most of his stats are a notch below what’s come to be expected.
“It’s amazing,” Joe Girardi said. “It’s an amazing number. It just shows you how consistent he’s been. How healthy he has been in his career to be able to do something like that. He came up at a very young age and was productive very early on. It’s a pretty amazing feat.”
• Derek Jeter’s first-inning double gave him 150 hits. He’s had that many in 15 straight seasons, the longest streak among active players and the longest streak in Yankees history.
• Jeter: “I liked my at-bats the past few days. You forget about what’s happened up to this point, and you try to move forward. I was happy with my at-bats today.”
• Asked if his knee bothered him this afternoon, Nick Swisher hesitated, said “No,” then smiled. Safe to say, the answer might have been a lie. “I knew I wasn’t going to be 100 percent today,” he said. He was, however, hopeful that playing would “loosen the pressure” in his knee.
• Girardi on Swisher: “He looked fine to me. I didn’t see him really favoring it when he was running.”
• If there was a positive out of A.J. Burnett’s outing, it was that his curveball looked better. “I was able to throw a curveball in the right location to get a double play, but it still goes back to shutdown,” he said. “If I get some shutdown innings, it’s a different ball game.”
• Brett Gardner’s bunt attempt in the seventh inning came from the bench. Girardi gave the sac bunt signal.
• Pinch running for Rodriguez in the eighth was strictly for speed, not because of concern Rodriguez was hurting. “If it’s earlier in the game I don’t do it,” Girardi said.
• Rodriguez said drawing a walk showed him as much his home run about how he’s feeling at the plate so soon after his injury: “When I see more pitches and I walk, I get deep into counts, I feel more dangerous as a hitter,” he said.
• Burnett has 13 losses for the first time in his career.
• Brian Roberts was on the disabled list every other time the Yankees faced the Orioles this season. Today he had three hits, including a pair of two-out hits that gave Baltimore the lead. “He’s a pain,” Jeter said. “It seems like he always has good at-bats. He fouls off some tough pitches, and he gets on base, and when he gets on base he runs a lot. Obviously a much different team when he’s on the field.”
Associated Press photos of Rodriguez and Robinson Cano