October 11, 2012

Raul Ibanez Pinch Hits for A Rod, Hits Two Homers in Yankees Win: With his team trailing in the bottom of the ninth, New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi benched Alex Rodriguez and put in pinch hitter Raul Ibanez. Ibanez responded with a game-tying home run and a game-winning walk off in the 12th inning over the Baltimore Orioles, giving New York a 2-1 series lead. Ibanez, 40, is the oldest player to homer in the postseason and the first substitute to hit two home runs in the playoffs. "He just made himself a legend in Yankee eyes," said teammate Nick Swisher.

posted by rcade to baseball at 08:44 AM - 16 comments

Raul Ibanez is amazing.

posted by dyams at 11:11 PM on October 10

I'm a Yankee hater, but that was damn impressive. I've not seen such things before. What a moment for Ibanez.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 11:26 PM on October 10

Baltimore has now lost two of these three games when they entered the ninth inning with a lead or a tie. Looks like that 74-0 or whatever it was when leading after 7 is really regressing to the mean in a hurry!

posted by hincandenza at 11:35 PM on October 10

I love moments like that in the playoffs. Ibanez must have just moved in to 666 Park Avenue.

posted by rcade at 08:52 AM on October 11

True YankeeTM

But yeah, that was pretty impressive.

posted by DrJohnEvans at 09:00 AM on October 11

I knew when the first one happened as suddenly everyone in my neighborhood (in da Bronx) was screaming their heads off. I was disappointed to hear the Yanks won it, but I'm happy for Ibanez. He's given me some great at bats on some of my fantasy teams.

posted by ursus_comiter at 11:31 AM on October 11

Separated at birth: Raul Ibanez and Lord Voldemort.

posted by ajaffe at 12:11 PM on October 11

"He just made himself a legend in Yankee eyes," said teammate Nick Swisher.

..."and hopefully that will distract everyone from the fact that I'm hitting a career .164/.262/.318 in the playoffs as a Yankee."

posted by grum@work at 12:27 PM on October 11

..."and hopefully that will distract everyone from the fact that I'm hitting a career .164/.262/.318 in the playoffs as a Yankee."

So Swisher is twice as productive in the post season as Rodriguez ...

posted by cixelsyd at 04:00 PM on October 11

So Swisher is twice as productive in the post season as Rodriguez ...

ARod in the post-season as a Yankee: .250/.376/.457 for an .833 OPS

So Swisher as a Yankee is 7/10ths as productive in the playoffs as ARod as a Yankee.

(Of course, no one likes to mention that ARod's career playoff OPS (.855) is HIGHER than Derek Jeter's (.844), since that ruins the narrative everyone likes to use.)

posted by grum@work at 04:51 PM on October 11

Two words: Eric Chavez.

If the Yankees lose this series, A-Rod lost it for them by not getting a run across in the 8th with 1 out and runners on second and third. Unforgiveable for a player hitting in that spot in the lineup to whiff and look that stupid doing so.

posted by dyams at 10:31 PM on October 11

Really? Do you really believe that an entire 5 game series can be blamed on a single play? Really?

posted by DudeDykstra at 11:48 PM on October 11

When that series has reached the 8th inning of Game 4, a game the team leading the series 2 games to 1 with a horribly struggling, fifth-in-the-order player has runners who can score any number of ways waves at the ball and K's pathetically, and that team ultimately loses in 13 innings? Yes I do believe that, and I seriously doubt if the Yankees wind up losing this series that I'll be alone feeling that way.

And this is coming from one of A-Rod's staunchest supporters throughout his career.

posted by dyams at 01:15 AM on October 12

A-Rod isn't the only hole in that lineup right now. What's Cano done? Swisher? Granderson? Why were you counting on the 37-year old guy on the downside of his career? I'd look more to the guys in their prime who have yet to show up. I don't think A-Rod should be batting fifth, but I don't think he's the reason the Yankees haven't won. The other three guys hit a combined 100 homers this year. They've sucked as bad. Cano hits third or fourth for god's sake.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 02:01 AM on October 12

I'm counting on A-Rod because the manager of the team continues to pencil him into the lineup, something I haven't discovered how to change.

There's no way I can blame Yankee wins on any Yankee player, so I have to look at the losses. True their hitting has, for the most part, sucked from top to bottom. But last night in the eighth, the first two batters reach base; Cano moves both into scoring position (including a fast Ichiro to third), reducing the possibility of the next batter grounding into a double play, yet A-Rod is kept in to face a righthander who he can't touch?

Girardi didn't see fit to pinch hit Chavez during that crucial moment, yet he brings him in to hit in the 13th? Girardi seems to think a "37-year old guy on the downside of his career" was the right person to possibly hit a ground ball in the hole of a drawn-in infield or a fly ball to the outfield (not even a base-hit), so obviously I have to go with it. It failed, miserably. The team's hitting woes means they need to scratch and claw for every possible run, and that golden opportunity to win the series was blown.

I'll alter my statement to include Girardi also facing the blame, but if A-Rod is truly to the point he can't even touch the ball in that situation, he needs to remain on the bench.

posted by dyams at 05:57 AM on October 12

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