Over the past couple seasons, there have been a couple farewell moments at Yankee Stadium. This one was a bit different. This one wasn’t the final home game. This one was in August when the Yankees are, theoretically, still in the playoff hunt.
Nothing about Alex Rodriguez’s Yankee career has been normal. However, it ended like a lot of his games in pinstripes did: he drove in a run and the Yankees won.
The Rays’ attempt at spoiling the party started quickly in the first. Just after inducing a double play, CC Sabathia allowed a solo home run to Evan Longoria, giving the Rays an early lead.
The Yankees answered back in the bottom of the first, thanks to a certain someone. Brett Gardner reached on a hit by pitch to lead off the inning. Two batters later, Alex Rodriguez stepped to the plate. He hit a 2-2 pitch into the gap, scoring Gardner to tie the game.
In the third, the Rays retook the lead. Sabathia put Bobby Wilson on with a walk. Two batters later, Matt Duffy singled, moving Wilson to third. Longoria then picked up his second RBI of the night as he singled home Wilson to make it 2-1.
Rodriguez’s second at bat of the game came in the bottom of the fourth. It was a ground out to lead off the inning. However, the Yankees would take the lead later in the inning. Mark Teixeira followed Rodriguez’s ground out with a single. After Brian McCann struck out, Didi Gregorius doubled. Starlin Castro then punched through a single, scoring both runners.
The Rays answered right back in the fifth, however. Tim Beckham led off the inning with a double, and was bunted to third by Wilson. Logan Forsythe then flew out to right, allowing Beckham to tag up. Aaron Hicks was in right, so there was a chance for a play at the plate. Hicks’ threw was strong enough, it was just about three feet too high and went over McCann. Beckham scored and the game was tied at three.
In the sixth, the back and forth nature of this game continued when the Yankees took the lead again. Teixeira led off the inning with a single, and then somehow stole second base. (Seriously, that happened.) After fly outs from McCann and Gregorius, Castro homered, putting the Yankees up 5-3.
Sabathia’s day was done after that as Tyler Clippard pitched the seventh. Sabathia went six innings, allowing three runs on four hits and three walks, while striking out seven.
The Yankees tacked on another run in the seventh when Hicks poked a home run over the left field wall. That gave the Yankees a three run lead. Rodriguez came to the plate later in the seventh. He grounded out in what would be the final plate appearance of his career.
However, that would not be the final act of Alex Rodriguez’s career. In the top of the ninth, he replaced Chase Headley at third, playing in the field one last time. After Dellin Betances struck out the lead off hitter, the Yankees sent out Ronald Torreyes to take Rodriguez’s place in the field. And with that, Alex Rodriguez’s career came to a close.
Betances struck out the next two to close out a 6-3 win for the Yankees.
Even though he went 1-4, the main story of the game was Alex Rodriguez. Good or bad, he was the main story a lot in his career. Whether you like him or not, he left a major imprint on the game of baseball.