This time around Alex Rodriguez will have company in the form of another New York Yankees starter on the bench and that player is Nick Swisher.
Tuesday afternoon when announcing the starting lineups for tonight’s game three match up between the Yankees and the Detroit Tigers in the American League Championship Series, New York manager Joe Girardi let the media know that both his usual starting third baseman and right fielder would not be in that lineup.
Instead Girardi will go with Eric Chavez again at third (as he did in game five of the ALDS versus the Baltimore Orioles) and Brett Gardner in left field as Ichiro Suzuki will play in right. Gardner will hit in the leadoff spot and Eduardo Nunez will take over at shortstop attempting to fill the gaping void left by Derek Jeter‘s season ending ankle injury.
A-Rod is 0-18 with 12 strikeouts in his postseason career against the Tigers starter for game three Justin Verlander and is just a .267 career hitter against the Detroit ace in his regular season career which spans 30 at bats. Chavez on the other hand has hit Verlander fairly well with a .360 average against him going nine for 25 and is also a left handed hitter.
Swisher has also struggled mightily versus Verlander batting just .180 with 23 strikeouts in 61 career at-bats against him. While Gardner is five for 11 against the hard throwing right hander and has a .571 on-base percentage against him in his 16 career plate appearances.
On top of all of those stats there here are some numbers that support Girardi’s decision; Swisher is hitting just .159 in this postseason (4-26 with 8 strikeouts) and Rodriguez is batting an abysmal .130 during the Yankees 2012 playoff run (3-23 with 12 strikeouts).