Oft-maligned, heavily-compensated Yankees 3rd baseman Alex Rodriguez had another monster night yesterday against the Sox, presumably converting some of the haters down in the Bronx to properly supplicating A-Rod toadies, but I’d like to point out one thing: as usual, when it really matters, A-Rod never gets the big hit at the right time.
Sure, this year he’s won a couple of games with walk-offs. But we all know that the reason that Yankees-Red Sox is so amazing isn’t that the teams are so much better than the rest of the league–they’re not–but rather that these games are about a psychological edge for the playoffs.
The Sox had it in ’04, courtesy of the Captain and his skill at fisticuffs. They have it when it comes to Mo Riviera, now a broken shadow of his former self against whom a comeback is an exciting possibility, not an inevitable impossibility. So, even though A-Rod cranked two homers last night, they don’t count in any statistic that really matters, because they never seem to come in the games that really matter.
Last night, that honor belonged to Alex Cora, a guy who almost never seems to have the statistics, but always seems to do the most efficient thing at the best possible moment. His bloop single put the Fenway Faithful into a frenzy of energy that Okajima fed off of to cap a truly momentous win.