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June 28, 2006

by SG

Coming into this afternoon's rubber game against the Atlanta Braves, Alex Rodriguez was hitting .212/.351/.325 in the month of June. Not coincidentally, the Yankees had gone 12-12 through this stretch.

Then came the bottom of the twelfth inning of today's game. Facing the Braves' newly annointed closer Jorge Sosa, Derek Jeter grounded the first pitch he saw up the middle to Edgar Renteria for the first out. Jason Giambi fouled off three pitches before drawing a walk, and Rodriguez stepped up with the Yankees trailing 3-2.

It seems that Rodriguez has come up in this situation an inordinate number of times this season, and he has failed in most of them. This time was different. After taking two high pitches, Rodriguez took a called strike. He took another pitch, then hit a towering fly ball to left center field that may not have landed yet.

Rodriguez homered with his team trailing in their last AB and the Yankees won the game, 4-3. It doesn't mean that he didn't fail all those other times that he did, and it doesn't mean that he's going to stop failing in these situations going forward. Enjoy it for what it was, a dramatic hit for one of the most talented players in baseball for a team that needed it badly.