A-Rod (batting 5th), Jeter (DH) both in Yankees Game 4 lineup
The Yankees ended their dramatic Game 3 win over the Orioles with both Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeter on the bench. They'll begin Game 4 with both in the lineup. Rodriguez, who was pinch-hit for Wednesday, was dropped from third to fifth. Jeter, who left Wednesday with a bone bruise on his foot, will be the designated hitter.
NEW YORK -- Yes, he's playing.
No, he's not batting third.
If you thought Yankee manager Joe Girardi's lineup decisions for Game 3 got a lot of attention, you should have seen the rush to the press box lineup board when Girardi's Game 4 lineup was posted on Thursday afternoon.
The answers you were waiting for:
-- Alex Rodriguez, who Girardi pinch-hit for in the ninth inning Wednesday, is back in the lineup for Game 4, against Orioles left-hander Joe Saunders. That makes some sense, because A-Rod's biggest problems have come against right-handers (0 for 9 with seven strikeouts in the Division Series).
"I expect big things from him tonight," Girardi said. "I still think he's a great player."
-- After resisting outside pressure to drop Rodriguez out of the third spot for Game 3, Girardi dropped him to fifth for Game 4. Mark Teixeira will bat third, with Robinson Cano remaining in the cleanup spot.
-- Derek Jeter, forced out of Game 3 with a bone bruise on his foot, is in the lineup, but only as the designated hitter. Jayson Nix is the shortstop. This will be Jeter's 156th career postseason game, but the first he starts at any position other than shortstop. The last time anyone other than Jeter started a Yankee postseason game at short, it was Tony Fernandez in Game 5 against the Mariners in 1995.
-- Game 3 hero Raul Ibanez will be available to pinch hit (for A-Rod?) again, because he's not in the Game 4 lineup. While Ibanez has been red-hot lately, he hit only .197 in limited time (just 65 plate appearances) against left-handers this season.
-- Orioles manager Buck Showalter stuck with his own struggling hitters, with Adam Jones (.154 in the series) remaining in the cleanup spot, and Matt Wieters (.077) batting fifth.
Nate McLouth, lf
J.J. Hardy, ss
Chris Davis, rf
Adam Jones, cf
Matt Wieters, c
Jim Thome, dh
Mark Reynolds, 1b
Ryan Flaherty, 2b
Manny Machado, 3b
Joe Saunders, p
Derek Jeter, dh
Ichiro Suzuki, rf
Mark Teixeira, 1b
Robinson Cano, 2b
Alex Rodriguez, 3b
Nick Swisher, rf
Russell Martin, c
Curtis Granderson, cf
Jayson Nix, ss
Phil Hughes, p
The clubs breaks ground on Globe Life Field next week
The fan struck at Wednesday's Twins-Yankees game was hospitalized
The Yankees are almost certainly headed to the postseason as a real threat to win the World...
They still would much rather grab the AL East, however
Sale becomes the first AL pitcher to reach 300 strikeouts since 1999
Steve Balboni's long-standing record of 36 has finally fallen