Alex Rodriguez has struggled mightily in this ALDS against the O’s, managing just one hit while fanning seven times in 13 plate appearances. So Yankees manager Joe Girardi finally decided to take action in the ninth inning of Game 3 on Wednesday night.
Raul Ibanez entered as a pinch-hitter in A-Rod’s spot with the Yankees trailing the Orioles 2-1 and promptly swatted a game-tying solo home run to right field. The dinger sent a charge through Yankee Stadium and pushed Game 3 into extra innings.
Rodriguez was the first to greet Ibanez when he returned to the dugout and the two exchanged a double high five. The Orioles were just retired in the top of the 10th inning, so the Yanks now have a chance to win it.
Following a dominant 5-1 win to clinch the National League Championship Series on Saturday night, the Dodgers named outfielder Cody Bellinger their MVP of the series.
Bellinger, 23, made noise when it mattered. Entering Saturday’s game, he carried a meager .190/.227/.238 batting line with just four hits and two RBI, but his hits in Games 4 and 7 became the difference-makers the Dodgers needed to keep pace with the Brewers and clinch the NL pennant. In Game 4, it was Bellinger’s 13th-inning base hit off of Junior Guerra that put the Dodgers over the top for the walk-off 2-1 win. The outfielder returned to put the finishing touches on the series with a go-ahead home run — his first of the postseason — in the second inning of Game 7.
Bellinger wrapped his second season in the Dodgers’ organization in 2018, slashing .260/.343/.470 with 25 home runs, an .814 OPS, and 3.6 fWAR across 632 PA and all 162 games. He’s the youngest Dodgers player to receive the award to date.