Yankees vs. Orioles: It's Time to Drop Alex Rodriguez in the Batting Order

Doug RushSenior Analyst IOctober 9, 2012

Oct 8, 2012; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees batter Alex Rodriguez strikes out to end the game two of the 2012 ALDS against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards.  Mandatory Credit: John Munson/THE STAR-LEDGER via US PRESSWIRE
The Star-Ledger-US PRESSWIRE

It's already beginning to become the usual kind of October for Alex Rodriguez.

Not the one that carried the team on his shoulders and helped the Bombers win the World Series in 2009.

Nope, instead we are seeing the King of un-clutch ABs again through the first two games of the ALDS against the Baltimore Orioles.

In Game 1, despite winning 7-2, A-Rod was a non-factor in the game, going 0-for-4 with three strikeouts.

Because the Yankees got big hits from Russell Martin, Ichiro Suzuki and Robinson Cano, A-Rod's failure in big spots weren't magnified.

However, in Game 2, his failures at the plate were at center attention in their 3-2 loss to the O's.

A-Rod went 1-for-5 with two more strikeouts, dropping his postseason average to .111 with more strikeouts than RBI.

The Yankees have had their third basemen hitting in the No. 3 spot in the lineup, and clearly it isn't working. As the series heads back to Yankee Stadium, Joe Girardi needs to drop A-Rod in the lineup.

Right now, A-Rod is a shell of his former self. His bat speed is not what it once was, his power seems like it has evaporated and he strikes out way too much to be depended on.

He can still be a hitter that might get a hit here and there, but the slugger who got a $275 million dollar contract back in 2007 no longer exists.

What the Yankees have is a post-steroid, 37-year-old third basemen at the twilight of his career who is often injured every season.

In case any of you didn't see Game 2, A-Rod started out the top of the first by lining into a double play. In the top of the seventh inning with Ichiro on first and the Yankees gaining momentum after Derek Jeter hit an RBI single to make it 3-2, A-Rod struck out against Darren O'Day. 

Then in the ninth, Rodriguez came to the plate with two outs and Orioles closer Jim Johnson on the mound. 

A little part of me hoped that the 2009 version of A-Rod would pop up and crank out a home run at Camden Yards, but instead, the 2012-version swung and missed on a pitch that should have been ball four to end the game.

If A-Rod had walked, it would have given Robinson Cano a chance to swing the bat in the ninth. Instead, A-Rod fails to come up in a big spot again. 

Whether it's putting Teixeira in the three spot and moving A-Rod down to the fifth or sixth spot, something needs to be done. A-Rod can not continue striking out in these huge spots in the game. 

Now, I'm not saying Girardi should drop A-Rod to the No. 8 spot like Joe Torre did back in 2006.

But anywhere below the No. 5 spot is a much better place for him to hit than the No. 3 spot. That spot is supposed to be reserved for the team's best hitter, and clearly, A-Rod isn't anywhere close to that right now. 

Girardi needs to do something with A-Rod before it's too late and their October is over before it can begin.

Stay tuned, Yankees Universe.