A-Rod's Pursuit for 600

Dominick ScarfoglieroContributor IAugust 3, 2010

NEW YORK - AUGUST 02:  Alex Rodriguez #13 of the New York Yankees grounds out in the first inning against the Toronto Blue Jays on August 2, 2010 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx borough of New York City.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images
Since hitting home run number 599 on July 22, Alex Rodriguez is just 9-for-41 with eight RBIs.

"People are asking me about home runs. I'm asking for a hit-by-pitch, infield hit, bunt single, error. I'll get on base anyhow. The home run will come," Rodriguez said on Saturday, according to MLB.com

At first, Rodriguez looked comfortable at the plate. He was getting his hits, driving in some runs, and he wasn't trying to push it. Now, everything has seemed to change. 

For the past couple of games, Alex has a different approach every time he steps up to the plate. For one at-bat, he will go up looking to hit it out of the park, he just ends up trying too hard so he just pops it up. For another at-bat, he will try not to aim for a home run, once again he tries too hard and just gets over it and ground out.

Since hitting 599, every other at-bat Rodriguez is trying to pull the ball, and he is getting under every pitch. Certain players, like Seattle's Ichiro Suzuki, are not home run hitters, so each at bat they will swing down on every pitch. This causes the player to hit the ball either on the ground or on a line drive. Players like this hit for average, not power. 

For his career, Alex Rodriguez had the best of both worlds. He would hit for power and still maintain a great average. Now, as he goes for one of Major Leagues Baseball's greatest milestones, the pressure has caused Rodriguez to alter his swing, and has put him into a bad slump.

For Alex Rodriguez, home run number 600 and beyond will come. It's just a matter of time before, arguably, one of the best hitters in baseball will get his swing back to normal. It's up to Alex and Yankees hitting coach, Kevin Long, to make that happen.

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