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4 New York Yankees Who Haven't Yet Proven Their Worth Against Baltimore Orioles

Phil WatsonCorrespondent IOctober 30, 2016

4 New York Yankees Who Haven't Yet Proven Their Worth Against Baltimore Orioles

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    The New York Yankees return to the Bronx tied with the Baltimore Orioles in the American League Division Series.

    The Yankees left a small platoon of men stranded on base in Game 2 Monday night, resulting in a 3-2 loss at Camden Yards. It’s not hard to figure out the problem in a one-run loss when a team leaves 10 men on base. 

    With the 7-2 win on Sunday night, however, the Yankees did what they set out to do, which was to win at least one of the opening two games in Baltimore before the series shifts back to Yankee Stadium for the final three games of the series. 

    Through the first two games, though, there have been a handful of Yankees who haven’t gotten it done at the plate. 

Nick Swisher

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    The particulars: 1-for-6 (.167), 1 RBI, 2 BB, 2 K, 3 LOB

    Nick Swisher hasn’t been particularly effective with the bat through the first two games, although anyone who has seen him throughout his postseason career is not shocked by that development.

    With his 1-for-6 performance in the first two games of this series, Swisher is now a lifetime .169 hitter in the postseason (22-for-130).

    The three men Swisher left on base were in two at-bats in Game 2 when he twice came up with runners in scoring position with two outs and twice managed to send those runners jogging back to the dugout rather than sprinting toward home plate.

    Swisher is now 1-for-33 with runners in scoring position for his postseason career. At this point, when does it stop being a slump and start being a trend?

Alex Rodriguez

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    The particulars: 1-for-9 (.111), 1 R, 1 BB, 5 K, 7 LOB

    The 2012 postseason has started out much more like those of 2005 (2-for-15, .133), 2006 (1-for-14, .071), 2010 (7-for-32, .219) or 2011 (2-for-18, .111) for Alex Rodriguez than his breakout postseason of 2009, when he was 19-for-52 (.365) with six home runs and 18 RBI when the Yankees won the World Series.

    Rodriguez struck out against Baltimore closer Jim Johnson to end the game on Monday night, and that was somehow fitting, given that he’s gone down on strikes five times in just 10 plate appearances in this series.

    His last home run in postseason play came on Oct. 31, 2009, when he went deep in Game 3 of the World Series against the Philadelphia Phillies. Since that homer, Rodriguez is just 13-for-69 (.188), with 10 RBI and 19 strikeouts.

    Hardly what one would expect from a guy with 647 career home runs, a lifetime .300 average and nearly 2,000 RBI.

Curtis Granderson

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    The particulars: 1-for-7 (.143), 1 BB, 3 K, 6 LOB

    Perhaps Ray Flowers of the BaseballGuys.com fantasy baseball blog put it best about Curtis Granderson when he wrote, “Granderson is a faster version of Adam Dunn.”

    Granderson has always been a big strikeout guy, from the moment he led the American League with 174 whiffs in his first full season with the Detroit Tigers in 2006.

    But he took his all-or-nothing approach to new heights in 2012, hitting a career-low .232 with a .319 on-base percentage and a career-high 195 strikeouts.

    In a nice twist of coincidence, the only thing that prevented Granderson from leading the AL in strikeouts in 2012 was Dunn, whose 222 Ks was one shy of the major league record set by Mark Reynolds of the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2009.

    Still, it was tied for the 11th most strikeouts by a hitter in a single season.

    Facing Brian Matusz in the eighth inning of Game 2 Monday night, Granderson appeared to be hopelessly outmatched, watching a couple of strikes before getting himself out on a curveball that might have been two or three inches off the ground when it passed home plate.

    Yes, he was tied for second in the American League with 43 home runs. But when you turn 43 home runs into an OPS of just .811, it could be a sign that your approach at the plate could use some refinement.

Joe Girardi

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    The skipper, Joe Girardi, makes this list in anticipation of his continuing to bat Mark Teixeira behind Nick Swisher in Game 3 on Wednesday night, even though Swisher is 1-for-6 in the series and Teixeira is 4-for-8.

    Teixeira struggled in the final series of the regular season against Boston, when he returned from missing almost all of September with a calf injury to go 1-for-12 against the Red Sox.

    But Teixeira seems to have figured something out. He’s had some solid at-bats against the Orioles in the first two games of the ALDS and has hit the ball hard from both sides of the plate.

    It seems to make sense to juggle the lineup for Game 3, possibly sliding Robinson Cano up to the No. 3 spot, hitting Teixeira fourth, dropping Alex Rodriguez to fifth and bumping Swisher to the No. 6 hole. 

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