The New York Yankees have struggled with runners in scoring position all season, but it was a seventh-inning at-bat Wednesday that seemed to bother Alex Rodriguez more than any other.
Curtis Granderson had just singled home a run to cut the Yankees' deficit against the Atlanta Braves to 6-5, bringing Rodriguez to the plate with runners on the corners and one out. Rodriguez fouled off the first pitch he saw from right-hander Chad Durbin, then grounded the next one to shortstop, starting a 6-4-3 double play that ended the inning and doomed New York to its second straight loss.
"There's no doubt I'm going to turn it around, but we're into the season here pretty good," Rodriguez said. "You don't have to have a home run or a big two-run double; we always talk about little things. A sacrifice fly there at the minimum is what you need. That at-bat today was unacceptable."
Rodriguez enters the weekend series against the Mets with a .215 average with runners in scoring position, only three points lower than the Yankees' 28th-ranked average in the same situation.
"Overall, we're what, 70 games into the season? There's a lot of baseball to be played," Rodriguez said. "When it's all said and done, I think the team is going to do just fine. You have to get a good pitch to hit and put a good swing on it; today, I didn't do that."
Rodriguez is hitting .265 with 11 home runs and 32 RBI, putting him on pace for a disappointing 26 homers and 76 RBI over the entire season. Rodriguez called his season "incomplete" when asked to grade it Wednesday, though he stressed that the only number that matters to him is the Yankees' win-loss record.
"A lot of people make a lot of things about numbers, home runs and all this, but at the end of the day, none of it matters," Rodriguez said after the 10-5 loss to Atlanta. "What matters are games like today. At-bats like today. Those at-bats, you want to be productive. Today, I wasn't."