But never fear, Yankee fans, for the new A-Rod 2.0 is here, and this time he's programmed for success in the clutch. With his club down one run and facing a heart-wrenching loss that would result in a home split before going out West, Alex clobbered a game tying, laser-beam of a home run to rightfield off of Brian Fuentes, snatching New York from the jaws of defeat and further burying the perception of him as a perennial postseason goat.
During the marathon that ensued from the opening pitch on Saturday the Yankees showed off all of the aspects that have put them in there most legitimate position to make a run at a World Series title in nine years. Their bullpen was outstanding, allowing only one run over 6 2/3 innings spread out
over eight pitchers. Burnett turned in a solid start (two runs on three hits over 6 1/3), but it was Phil Coke, Joba Chamberlain, Phil Hughes, Mariano Rivera, Alfredo Aceves (to a lesser extent), Damaso Marte, and ultimately Dave Robertson (who got the win) that kept the team consistently in a position to grab the victory, waiting for the moment of fate that eventually struck in bottom of the 13th.
Their immense depth was also illustrated in the play of bench players Brett Gardner, Jose Molina (who actually started), super utility man/starter Nick Swisher, and traditional utility man Jerry Hairston Jr., all of whom contributed to the victorious effort with Hairston actually scoring the winning run on Maicer Izturis' throwing error. The Captain came through once again, adding his own opposite field solo-shot in the third inning. And the ending was dramatic, as it has been so many times this season.
But even as one of the better games in recent playoff history played out into the early Bronx morning on the national stage, the main spotlight continued to focus on the exploits of Alex Rodriguez. And for the first time in a long time, the light cast has been positive.