Alex Rodriguez was the key in the Yankees 2009 postseason of glory
In his first four years with the New York Yankees, Alex Rodriguez failed in the postseason and failed miserably. They won only one of five playoff series in that time. A-Rod failed to get more than eight hits in the final four series losses and hit just .267 after raking a .421 average in 2004 against the Minnesota Twins in the American League Division Series, their only series win. That didn’t stop general manager Brian Cashman from signing him to a 10-year, $275 million deal in 2008.
The following season, Rodriguez delivered what he failed to do in the first four previous trips to the playoffs. Expected to play a part in bringing World Series championship number 27 to the Bronx, Rodriguez delivered in 2009 and he delivered in a big way.
In the ALDS, Rodriguez hit .455 with two home runs and six RBI against the Twins while slugging 1.000. In Game 2, the Yankees trailed 3-1 entering the bottom of the ninth when Rodriguez stepped to the plate against Twins closer Joe Nathan and hit a two-run home run to right-center to tie the game. Mark Teixeira won the game in the bottom of the 11th inning with a solo home run for a 2-0 series lead.
In Game 3, the Yanks trailed 1-0 in the top of the seventh when A-Rod led off the inning with a solo home run off of Carl Pavano to the tie game and begin a comeback that saw the Yankees score four runs over the final three innings to sweep the series.
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In the American League championship series against the Los Angeles Angels, he picked up where he left off against the Twins. He hit .429 with two more home runs and six RBI again. He drew eight walks in the six-game series.
In Game 2, the Yankees entered the bottom of the 11th trailing 3-2, Rodriguez ripped a solo home run off of Brian Fuentes to tie the game and eventually led to a 4-3 Yankees win in 13 innings and a 2-0 series lead. In Game 4, Rodriguez went 3-for-4 with two RBIs and a home run as the Yankees rolled to a 10-1 win. The Yankees closed out the series in Game 6 at Yankee Stadium as A-Rod went 2-for-2, but the Angles avoided having to pitch to him as they walked him three times in a 5-2 win.
In the World Series, Rodriguez’s batting averaged dipped to .250 in six games, but his lone home run in the series helped the Yanks rally from a 3-0 deficit in the sixth inning of Game 3 to score eight of the games final 10 runs in an 8-5 win over the Philadelphia Phillies on Halloween. That win gave the Bronx Bombers a 2-1 series lead en route to World championship No. 27 four nights later in a Game 6 win at Yankee Stadium.
Rodriguez had a good career with the Yankees in the regular season, but struggled for the most part in the playoffs. However, one hot month of October and into the early part of November in 2009 was good enough to help the Yankees win a World Series championship. Without A-Rod, a 2009 title never happens.