It took a while, but Alex Rodriguez finally became the 22nd man hit 500 home runs in his ML career today in the Bronx. If you caught the game, or the highlights, and saw the celebration on the Yankee bench, you’d find it hard to believe that this team and this player were surrounded by such negativity for the entire offseason and the first three months of the season.
It was great to see the whole team celebrate the occasion with A-Rod, and it was even better to see them follow his lead to a 16–8 thumping of the Kansas City Royals. Phil Hughes return to the starting rotation was overshadowed by another offensive onslaught (and thankfully so). I’ll have a breakdown on Hughes later tonight.
Joe sat Shelley Duncan, but played Betemit at first. The Yanks’ latest acquisition had another solid game at the plate, but missed a throw from A-Rod that Phillips probably would’ve caught.
It was a great day for A-Rod, and a better day for the Bombers. Cleveland lost to Minnesota, 3–2, and Detroit lost to the White Sox, 7–5. The Yankees trail the Tigers by 1.5 games for the Wild Card, and control their own playoff destiny. This season, which started so pitifully, now sees the Yankees with the most runs scored in the league (652), best run differential in the league (+147) and at their high-water mark, 10 games over .500.
Player of The Game: A-Mazing. 3 for 4, 3 runs, 3 RBIs, 1 stolen base, 1 walk, 1 HUGE home run.
Left out of the hit party: Johnny Damon, 0 for 6 with 3 Ks. Ouch.