Alex Rodriguez immediately made his presence felt upon his return to Yankee Stadium, as the Yankees defeated the Detroit Tigers twice and while beating the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in Monday night's series opener.
Against the Tigers, Rodriguez launched a 357-foot home run to left again starter Justin Verlander. It was the 648th of his storybook career, moving him within 12 of Hall of Fame great Willie Mays.
Later in that game, Rodriguez touched up Verlander again with an RBI single to right.
Although the Yankees went on to win that game by a score of 5-4, the big news was that A-Rod had indeed returned and with key hits against one of MLB's premier power right-handers.
The Yankees won all three home games when Rodriguez, who is quickly regaining his sea legs, has played.
That bodes well for Yankees manager Joe Girardi, who has been starved for right-handed power bats all season long. The return of A-Rod could not have come at a more crucial time, with just under two months remaining in the regular season.
With 45 games left to play, the Yankees currently trail the final wild-card spot by 6.5 games. A productive A-Rod can play a major role in the Yankees making up that ground.
Enhancing their chances is the return of right-handed power hitting Alfonso Soriano. Ironically, it was Soriano who the Yankees traded to obtain Alex Rodriguez.
Now, the two power hitting superstars get to work in tandem to return the Yankees into the playoffs once again.
Rodriguez and Soriano have combined to hit an astounding 1,040 career home runs.
The previously power-challenged Girardi must be drooling these days as he writes out his lineup card.
Granted, there have been the predictable grumblings about Rodriguez continuing to play while appealing the stiff 211-game suspension by Major League Baseball due to performance enhancing drug allegations.
The response by Rodriguez has been business as usual—100% focus on playing winning baseball.
For the Yankees, there are games to played and a pennant and World Series to be won. A healthy Rodriguez gives them the best chance to achieve them both.
With 45 Yankees games to go: Game on, thanks to the return of Alex Rodriguez.