Joe Girardi has decided to leave Alex Rodriguez in the third spot in the New York Yankees' batting order for Game 3 of their AL Division Series against the Baltimore Orioles.
Rodriguez will be the designated hitter Wednesday, with veteran Eric Chavez playing third base and batting ninth.
Rodriguez has struggled in the first two games of the ALDS, going 1 for 9 with five strikeouts. He did hit a couple of balls hard in Game 2, including a first-inning line drive that could have been an RBI single but instead was caught by second baseman Robert Andino.
"We had playoff baseball pretty much the whole month of September and we were pretty good with the lineup we sent out there," Girardi said. "He was in that spot. He got on base. And I started thinking, 'You know what, if that first ball that he squares up goes through, we probably aren't talking about this.' The guy makes a really good play and takes away a couple of RBIs and it changes the inning and it changes the tone."
Dating to the regular season, Rodriguez has not hit a home run in his last 77 at-bats. He finished the season hitting .272 with 18 homers and 57 RBIs.
Girardi contemplated moving Rodriguez down in the lineup. Orioles closer Jim Johnson struck out Rodriguez for the final out of Game 2 with the Yankees' most dangerous hitter, Robinson Cano, in the on-deck circle.
This is a good time to remind everyone that A-Rod has 10 hits in his last 59 postseason at-bats.