Hey, this guy’s pretty good.
Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez slugged three home runs and collected a total of five RBI in Saturday’s 8-3 defeat of the Royals. He delivered a solo shot in the sixth inning, a two-run shot in the seventh and another two-runner in the top of the ninth.
It took Rodriguez a grueling 47 at-bats to climb from career home run No. 599 to 600, but he now has five dingers in his last nine games and an .896 OPS over 47 August at-bats.
Not that the Yankees need the extra help, but A-Rod seems to be getting hot at the right time. He was exceptional in last year’s postseason, helping the Yanks to their 27th World Series title, and there’s a good chance he will play a major role this October.
The Yankees currently hold a two-game lead over the Rays for first place in the American League East with 46 games to play. They will wrap up a three-game set in Kansas City on Sunday afternoon.
Perhaps there are a few who still miss the slope of Tal’s Hill rising from center field, but George Springer isn’t one of them. He lassoed a 403-foot fly ball from Todd Frazier in the seventh inning of Game 6, reaching nearly to the top of the wall to prevent the Yankees from gaining on the Astros’ 3-0 lead.
According to Statcast, a fly ball with an exit velocity of 103.6 MPH and a launch angle of 29 degrees lands for a home run 72% of the time. That wasn’t going to fly with the Astros, who were facing runners on first and second with one out and saw Justin Verlander‘s pitch count rapidly approaching 100.
It wasn’t long before the Yankees tried for another home run, however, and this one sailed far above the heads of all of the Astros’ outfielders. Aaron Judge lofted a 425-foot shot to left field in the eighth inning, destroying a first-pitch fastball from Brad Peacock and finally getting New York on the board.
The Yankees currently trail the Astros 4-1 in the bottom of the eighth.