On the way to the New York Yankees World Series title in 2009, Alex Rodriguez came up with big hits in a number of postseason plate appearances. In 15 playoff games, Rodriguez hit .365 with six home runs and 18 RBI.
During the 2012 postseason, however, Rodriguez has struggled mightily. Yankees manager Joe Girardi even chose to pinch hit for Rodriguez in the bottom of the ninth in Game 3 of the 2012 ALDS (Associated Press via ABC).
Rodriguez's performance in the postseason so far this year has helped demonstrate that he is not a clutch player. It is looking more like his clutch performance in 2009 was a fluke, and here are five stats that prove it.
The last time that Alex Rodriguez hit a postseason home run was during the fourth inning of Game 3 of the 2009 World Series. He has had 72 playoff at-bats since then.
During the regular season, Rodriguez has hit a home run approximately once every 15 at-bats. He is now closing in on five-times that number during his current postseason skid.
For a power hitter like Rodriguez, this lack of production is certainly concerning. It could be that the postseason pressure is getting to him.
Not only has Alex Rodriguez been unable to get a big hit in the past three postseasons, he has barely been able to get any hits at all.
Rodriguez has batted just .161 in the postseason since 2010. That is not the type of production one expects in the playoffs from a career .300 hitter.
This is biggest of all of the problems surrounding Rodriguez's recent postseason struggles. Forget the lack of power, Rodriguez hasn't been able to make solid contact in the postseason over the past few years.
Not only has Alex Rodriguez struggled to hit home runs in the playoffs over the past three seasons, but he has also struggled to collect extra-base hits.
He has two extra-base hits since Game 1 of the 2010 ALDS, and they have both been doubles. As a result, Rodriguez has an anemic .464 OPS since then.
Consider the fact that Rodriguez is an important run producer in the middle of the New York Yankees lineup, this needs to be seriously concerning.
Throughout his career, Alex Rodriguez has an 18.2 percent strikeout rate. However, he has seen his strikeout rate rise in the past three postseasons.
A-Rod has struck out 19 times in just 62 at-bats since the start of the 2010 playoffs. That is a strikeout rate close to 31 percent.
It might be that the pressure has been getting to Rodriguez during the postseason in the past few years. He needs to start doing a better job of making contact if the Yankees are going to go far in the playoffs this year.
Alex Rodriguez has been a below-average hitter in the postseason over the past three seasons based on wRC+.
During the 2010 playoffs, Rodriguez had a 74 wRC-plus. That number plummeted to 13 last year during the playoffs. It is currently at minus-39 through the first three games of the 2012 ALDS (h/t Fangraphs).
Based on these numbers, it can be argued that having Rodriguez in the lineup during the postseason has actually hurt the Yankees over the past three years.