A-Rod's October slump continues after 0-for-4 night
CLEVELAND -- Another postseason, another perplexing struggle for Alex Rodriguez.
The Yankees superstar went 0-for-4 and struck out three times Friday as New York lost to Cleveland 2-1 in 11 innings, leaving them in an 0-2 deficit.
Rodriguez, who hit .314 with 54 home runs and 156 RBIs during the season, is 0-for-6 in this playoff series. He is an inexplicable 4-for-47 (.085) with no RBIs in his last 14 postseason games.
"I'm not pressing, but I've got to swing at strikes," Rodriguez said.
He is hitless in his last 28 postseason at-bats on the road, dating to last season. He had a chance to end the streak and drive in the go-ahead run with two outs in the ninth, but struck out against Fausto Carmona.
"Me personally, I helped him out a few times," Rodriguez said. "I've got to stop swinging at bad pitches."
Manager Joe Torre pointed out that the Yankees had three hits in 11 innings, and eight hits in two games total. So it isn't only Rodriguez who is struggling.
"You know, A-Rod's not the only one, you can't put it on A-Rod," Torre said. "Normally we're pretty good at manufacturing things, but not tonight."
Rodriguez's October troubles have mirrored the Yankees, who have lost five straight in the playoffs. They last trailed 0-2 in the postseason in the 2001 World Series. They responded in that series by winning three straight, but lost in seven games.
A-Rod's night at the plate went like this:
• He popped up on first pitch from Carmona in second inning. Second baseman Asdrubal Cabrera waved off his teammates and coasted out to short right field to make the catch.
• In the fourth, he was ahead 2-0, fouled one off, then waved at two sinkers and walked back to the dugout, leaving a runner at second.
• He struck out on three pitches with a runner on first in the seventh.
• His best at-bat came in the ninth, when he went down swinging in a nine-pitch at-bat against Carmona, leaving Bobby Abreu on second base. Carmona's last pitch was a sinker that dropped about a foot, down and outside, Rodriguez said.
"I was excited about the situation," Rodriguez said. "I thought I was the right man in the right spot."
The Yankees inability to hit the Indians left Rodriguez at a loss for an explanation.
"Three hits in 11 innings is not acceptable for us," Rodriguez said. "We're probably trying to do to much."
The Indians travel to New York for Game 3 on Sunday night, looking for the first October sweep of the Yankees in 27 years.
New York was last swept 3-0 in the 1980 championship series against the Kansas City Royals. The Yankees have on been the losing side of a postseason sweep just four times in their storied history.
"We've been in a hole all year," Rodriguez said. "A big win right now would take a lot of pressure off all of us."