Alex Rodriguez has homered in four of the last five games, including in three straight against the AL East-leading Tampa Bay Rays. And all those home runs have one thing in common--they were all meaningless.
A-Rod's dinger on Tuesday came in Mike Mussina's 17th victory of the season as the Yankees beat the Rays 7-2. But *yawn*--the home run came in the eighth with the Bombers well in front, 6-2. The blast came off mediocre reliever Jason Hammel, who has a lifetime ERA of 5.98 and is surely the worst arm in the Tampa Bay pen.
Yes, A-"I'm the First"-Rod made history Wednesday when his ninth-inning blast was upheld by instant replay--the first time the replay system was used in major league history.
But again, his two-run long fly came with the Yanks already up 6-3, a fairly comfortable margin--especially when you consider the incomparable Mariano Rivera closes games for the Bombers. Translation: another meaningless home run. Finally, Thursday, Rodriguez victimized Hammel again--this time with a two-out, ninth-inning blast.
However, that came with the Yankees behind 7-4 and down to their final out. So, yes, three straight late-inning homers, two straight ninth-inning blasts and a two-out dinger in the final inning Thursday.
But so what? Those who have long said A-Rod's homers come with nothing on the line just got their points proven again this week. (In fact, there was another one of A-Rod bashing articlesthis past week, just BEFORE his recent surge, written by Yahoo! Sports' Jeff Passan.)
Yes, yes. A-Rod has homered in three straight games. Yawn. Wake me up when they matter.