Alex Rodriguez: Why He is Pressing During the Pursuit of 600 Home Runs

Jess K. ColemanContributor IAugust 3, 2010

NEW YORK - AUGUST 02:  Alex Rodriguez #13 of the New York Yankees looks on against the Toronto Blue Jays on August 2, 2010 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx borough of New York City.  (Photo by Michael Heiman/Getty Images)
Michael Heiman/Getty Images

Watching Alex Rodriguez swing for his 600th home run has been a frustrating experience. “Strikeout, groundout, popout” seems to appear in the box score every night. As he approaches plate appearance number 50 since home run number 599, it has become more and more evident that A-Rod is pressing.

Here are four of Alex’s five at-bats from yesterday’s game in which he went 0-for-5 (Charts are from BrooksBaseball.net):

Note: try to find something they all have in common.

At-bat #1: groundout

At-bat #2: strikeout

At-bat #3: strikeout

At-bat #5: groundout

If you can’t figure out what they all have in common, I’ll tell you: in every at-bat, A-Rod saw at least one pitch that was near the middle of the plate and belt high. Those are pitches that he usually hits into the seats with ease, but on Monday, he either fouled the pitch off or hit a groundball. Bottom line: he is just missing it, and it is no coincidence that he is missing these perfect pitches while pursing number 600. A-Rod is pressing.

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