We're 10 games into the 2015 season and Alex Rodriguez is batting .344/.432/.781 /1.214 with four home runs, 11 RBI, a .514 wOBA and a 238 wRC+. Hmmm, not bad for the guy most people were writing off before the season even started.
- "His bat speed is gone."
- "He's too old."
- "He's been gone from the game too long."
Obviously, these numbers are not sustainable, but for now, it is very fun to watch Rodriguez silence the loudmouths who were waiting to dance on his grave and make the people who were marching with torches and pitchforks have to give him some credit for his performance so far. Oh hi, there Mike Lupica!
So what did Rodriguez do last night? Not much, he just won the game for the Yankees by being responsible for four of their five runs and driving in the game-winning run.
His first home run came off Rays' starter Nathan Karns in the second inning. Karns threw a 92 m.p.h. fastball high and just above the zone that A-Rod hit to a place where Rays fans have only seen batting practice home runs land.
It was measured at 477 feet (some are saying 471) and was the longest home run by a Yankees player in 10 years.
Home run number two came off a 94 m.p.h. offering on the inside of the plate from reliever Ernesto Frieri that Alex turned on and it left the field in about two seconds. If a cartoon was made of that ball, it would have been screaming in terror on the way out.
And finally, in the eighth inning, with the game tied, and after pinch runner Brett Gardner stole his first base of 2015, Alex took an 82 m.p.h. 3-2 breaking ball from Kevin Jepsen and lofted it into center field where it dropped just in front of Kevin Kiermaier for what ended up being the game winning hit and RBI:
So let's recap: Alex Rodriguez was able to mash a fastball above the letters to the tune of 477 feet, was able to turn on an even speedier inside fastball for another home run and he was patient with a guy on second, and on a 3-2 count with two outs in the eighth, drove in the game-winning run.
You know, the Yankees probably could have used him in 2014.
[Heat maps and some numbers courtesy of ESPN Stats and Info. Other numbers courtesy of Fangraphs.]