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Alex Rodriguez, the stretch run: End of Game Thoughts

ST. PETERSBURG - AUGUST 01:  Pitcher James Shields #33 of the Tampa Bay Rays pitches against the New York Yankees during the game at Tropicana Field on August 1, 2010 in St. Petersburg, Florida.  (Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images)
J. Meric/Getty Images
Jess K. ColemanContributor IDecember 19, 2016

The Yankees have just lost two out of three to the Rays, and hold a tight one-game lead in the American League East. It was a great series: every game was extremely well-played and came down to one or two key moments. Here are my thoughts for the final game of this series:

The stage is set for an exciting September

If you watched all three games, these two teams looked extremely well-equipped and very even-matched. When you look at how these teams have matched up over the course of the season, the numbers are striking.

Here are the head-to-head numbers for the Yankees and Rays:

 YankeesRays
Wins56
Runs scored5859

It is pretty evident that the division will come down to the wire. The Yankees and Rays face off seven times in the final three weeks of the season. Get ready for some excitement.

Questionable At-Bat for A-Rod

A-Rod was not in the starting line-up tonight, but fans got a chance to experience history when he pinch hit in the top of the seventh inning. On a 3-2 count, A-Rod was called out on strikes by home plate umpire Bill Welke. A-Rod turned and complained about the call, and rightfully so.

Thanks to the people over at brooksbaseball.com, PitchFX data shows us that A-Rod was wrongfully called out on strikes. Here is the graph:

ST. PETERSBURG - AUGUST 01:  Pitcher James Shields #33 of the Tampa Bay Rays pitches against the New York Yankees during the game at Tropicana Field on August 1, 2010 in St. Petersburg, Florida.  (Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images)
J. Meric/Getty Images

Could this have influenced the game? It would have been 1st and 2nd with two out with Ramiro Peña at the plate. Probably wouldn’t have made a difference, but worth noting.

You can e-mail me at jess@jesskcoleman.com or follow me on Twitter @jesskcoleman.

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