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A New York Yankees blog by Chad Jennings and the staff of The Journal News

Ibanez: “Just have to go up there and try to get a good pitch”

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Misc on Oct 11, 2012 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

In his career, Raul Ibanez has hit .188/.267/.323 as a pinch hitter. He’s done it 150 times in regular-season games, and he’s homered in four of those at-bats. But this year, for whatever reason, Ibanez hit .345/.394/.655 as a pinch hitter. He was good at it, and he made a difference off the bench, and what he did last night will be remembered for a long, long time.

Eric Chavez
“That’s the toughest thing to do in baseball, in my opinion is to come off the bench. You’re not in rhythm with the game, and your heartbeat’s not really going. He’s done it the whole year. His pinch hit numbers have to be really good.”

Mark Teixeira
“Johnson’s really tough on righties, and Raul’s been swinging such a good bat. Joe rolled the dice and it worked. Alex is going to be back in there tomorrow and have a great game. If Raul has a chance — I’m not sure if he’ll be in the lineup (against a lefty) — but he’ll get a chance to contribute as well. It’s a team game. Twenty-five guys have to step up to win a championship, and tonight, Raul was our guy.”

Nick Swisher
“I’m going to start to expect him to go deep every at-bat down. It just goes to show you what type of guys we have coming off the bench. We’ve got some guys, not only in the lineup, that can do damage, but our bench is deep as well. … I know I’ve tried to pinch hit a few times, and I’m not any good at it. But my boy Raul, what a bro. Just to see him having the success he’s having right now, especially in the postseason, he just made himself a legend in Yankee eyes.”

Derek Jeter
“That was big, man. That was big. It’s unbelievable. I don’t know how he does that, you sit around all day and then go up there and hit home runs. Especially off the closer, Johnson, who’s been outstanding all year, and Matusz has done a great job. It’s unbelievable by Raul.”

Russell Martin
“I’ve never really had much success pinch hitting. It’s really tough. I think for him, his experience, and he’s done it throughout the whole year. Lately it’s been paying off for us. Unbelievable. … I was taking off my gear and getting ready, next thing you know, one pitch later, the game’s over.”

Joe Girardi
“Raul had some kind of day for us today, and you have to make some decisions sometimes that are tough decisions. But I just had a gut feeling. We talked about it in the pregame about (Ibanez) being a great pinch hitter, and you’ve got a left-handed hitter who’s a low-ball hitter in a sense, and you’ve got a low-ball pitcher. I just kind of had a gut feeling.”

Alex Rodriguez
“Maybe having a background from the National League may help a little bit. We don’t see that type of pinch hitting around here very often. … Raul has been phenomenal. He did that a few weeks ago against Oakland. The consensus was the same; we’ve never seen anything like that of that magnitude. Pretty cool.”

Raul Ibanez
“It’s definitely tough, but yeah, you’re definitely stretching. Fourth, fifth, sixth inning, you’re already stretching, getting loose, going through routines, hitting balls off the tee, taking flips down in the cage. You know, watching video, trying to prepare for any scenario that may happen. But a lot of times when you’re pinch hitting, you’re not (fully prepared). Pitching change comes and the guy that you thought you were going to face isn’t the guy that you face. At some point you just have to go up there and try to get a good pitch to hit.”

Associated Press photo




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