A-Rod benched for Game 5

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We don’t have the full lineups yet, but we have this much:

Over/under on closeups of Rodriguez on the bench during the game: 157.

I guess Joe Girardi was not impressed with Rodriguez’s track record against the Orioles’ starter, Jason Hammel. My prediction that he would be notwithstanding, I can’t say I can argue with him.

Look for A-Rod to get the first big pinch hitting shot at a lefty, but beyond that, the Yankees’ most expensive player is gonna ride the pine in an elimination game.

Watch: George Springer robs Todd Frazier with an incredible catch at the wall

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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.