'See ball, hit ball' works for A-Rod
Yankees slugger keeps it simple, sees postseason success
Alex Rodriguez is hitting .368 with three home runs and eight RBIs during the playoffs against Minnesota and now the Angels.
His latest heroic act at the plate was a solo home run to lead off the bottom of the 11th inning to even the game at 3-3 after the Angels took the lead in the top half of the inning in Game 2 on Saturday night.
"I'm doing exactly what I did all year," Rodriguez told Newsday about why he is having so much success. "Trying to simplify things and not do too much. I know you guys are probably looking for something profound from me, but I'm just seeing the ball and hitting it."
Lee joins Phillies record book: Cliff Lee's 10 K's in NLCS Game 3 tied the Phillies' postseason record established by Steve Carlton (Game 2, 1980 World Series) and Curt Schilling (Game 1, 1993 NLCS).
"I don't think I ever doubted myself," Lee told MLB.com. "I always had confidence in myself and felt like I could pitch in a big game, but you never know until you get the opportunity."
The Phillies won, 11-0, to go ahead two games to one in their series with the Dodgers, which continues with Game 4 on Monday night.
Jeter moves into third on postseason HR list: Derek Jeter's solo home run in the third inning of Game 2 of the ALCS on Saturday night moved him past Reggie Jackson and Mickey Mantle into third place on the all-time list for postseason home runs.
"To be quite honest with you, man, I'm not even thinking about it," Jeter told MLB.com. "We're trying to win games. I wasn't even aware I tied Reggie until he was over here the other day and he told me about it."
Jeter now has 19 postseason home runs. Jeter has 10 home runs in the Division Series, six in the Championship Series and three in the World Series.
Wolf finally gets postseason start in Philly: Randy Wolf came up in the Philadelphia organization and pitched eight years for the Phillies. When the Dodgers' lefty pitches in Game 4 of the NLDS, however, it will be his first postseason start in Philadelphia.
"It's kind of surreal," Wolf told the Los Angeles Times. "It's really weird. You know, my second postseason start is against a team that, basically, I was born and raised with.
"I'd be lying if I said there was a part of me that wasn't jealous," said Wolf, who last pitched for the Phillies in 2006, about the team's 2008 World Series victory. "I was jealous. I was with the organization for a long time, and I obviously missed the boat."
Guerrero a mainstay for Angels: Vladimir Guerrero continues to be a staple in the Angels lineup in the ALCS.
"The scouting report on this guy has been the same for years, and he hit .300 with 25 homers for 11 straight years," hitting coach Mickey Hatcher told the Los Angeles Times. "Every time he has a bad game, everyone questions him, but he's always found a way to get it done."
Lidge glad to feel comfortable, healthy: Brad Lidge says he has gotten healthy at the right time.
"I'm feeling great right now," the Phillies' closer told MLB.com. "I feel fortunate to be feeling physically great right now. I know, when I'm feeling great and everything is in line, I'll take my chances out there. I'm feeling comfortable right now, and, fortunately for me, right now is a good time to feel healthy."
Rivera reaches deep to go long: It had been more than three years since Mariano Rivera pitched more than two innings in a game until Saturday night, when the future Hall of Famer went 2 1/3 innings against the Angels in Game 2 of the ALCS.
"There's no tomorrow," he told the New York Post.
Rivera recorded the final out of the eighth inning and pitched a perfect ninth inning. He allowed a leadoff single in the 10th before retiring the next three batters in order. The good news for the Yankees was that he threw only 25 pitches and should be ready for Game 3 on Monday.
Blanton brings success to Game 4 start: Joe Blanton gets the start for the Phillies in Game 4 of the NLCS against the Dodgers on Monday.
"I'm ready to do my job, whatever they ask me to do," Blanton told MLB.com. "If they ask me, I'm ready. I'll do whatever."
In 31 starts this season, Blanton started just once against the Dodgers, allowing one run on five hits over six innings. He was 2-0 with a 3.18 ERA in the postseason last year and is 1-0 with a 2.88 ERA against Los Angeles in his career.
Hairston Jr. chalks one up for grandfather: Dedicating his first postseason at-bat to his grandfather, Jerry Hairston Jr. smacked a leadoff single and came around to score the winning run in the 13th inning of the Yankees' Game 2 ALCS win over the Angels.
"My grandfather never had the opportunity that I had and that I've had," Hairston Jr. told the New York Post of Sam Hairston, a Major Leaguer in 1956, "and that at-bat was definitely for him."
Damon sees extra BP pay off in ALCS: Johnny Damon is getting results from spending extra time in the batting cage.
"Sometimes in this game you need to have some luck, but you also need to go out and work hard and try to figure out what went wrong," Damon told the Boston Herald.
In ALCS Game 1, Damon had two hits and scored two runs and also made a nice sliding catch. In Game 2, Damon added two more hits in six at-bats to help the Yankees win 4-3 in 13 innings and take a 2-0 lead in the series.
Weaver not worried about extra pressure: Down two games to none, the Angels turned to Jered Weaver in Game 3 of the ALCS.
"We're never a team that's going to give up despite the numbers or what anybody else says," Weaver told the Los Angeles Times. "I'm going to treat it like we were up 2-0 or tied 1-1," he said. "I'm going to go out there and have fun and try to locate."
"If we win Game 3, we've got a different vibe in this whole series," Scioscia said. "We know this thing could turn in a heartbeat."
Hall of Famer kept close eye on Porcello: When 20-year-old Rick Porcello was working in the Tigers' AL Central tiebreaker game against Minnesota -- during which he tossed five innings and gave up no earned runs -- Hall-of-Famer Jim Palmer was paying close attention.
"I was a little nervous he was going to break my record for the youngest guy to ever pitch a shutout in the World Series," the former Baltimore Orioles star told the Detroit Free Press.
Span ready to see team take next step: After winning 17 of their last 21 games and pulling out the AL Central Division title in the 163rd game of the season, the Twins were swept by the Yankees in their ALDS. But Denard Span believes the club's best is yet to come.
"We got a taste of defeat and we're going to be better because of it," the outfielder told MLB.com. "We want to see what happens this offseason to get us, hopefully, a step further to winning a World Series. That's the ultimate goal. So, it's going to be interesting to see what happens."
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.