10/10/05 8:43 PM ET
Notes: A-Rod's numbers deceiving
Long journey for Yankees; Torre stays with Game 4 lineup
By Mark Feinsand / MLB.com
Rodriguez's on-base percentage, however, checks in at .500, as he has walked six times and been hit by a pitch in his 18 plate appearances.
"They're pitching carefully to him," manager Joe Torre said. "He can hit a home run anywhere, and they know he wants a hit, so they're trying to play off the fact that he's a little overanxious. He's been pretty disciplined."
Rodriguez had both of his hits in the Yankees' 11-7 Game 3 loss. He went 0-for-3 in the opener, then 0-for-2 with three walks in Game 2 at Angel Stadium.
Last season, Rodriguez had a spectacular Division Series against the Twins, batting .421 in the Yankees' four-game series win. He opened the ALCS with six hits in 14 at-bats in the first three games against Boston -- all wins.
But Rodriguez went 2-for-17 in the final four games as the Yankees became the first team ever to lose a best-of-seven series after winning the first three.
Torre sees a different look to Rodriguez in this series than he did in those final four games against the Red Sox, giving the manager the confidence that his third baseman isn't putting too much pressure on himself.
"I don't know if he's pressing; he may be a little overanxious," Torre said. "His personality is fine; it's not the same as it was last year, which I felt was pressing. This year, it may be him being a little overanxious -- which may look the same."
Long journey: The Yankees landed in Anaheim at approximately 3:20 a.m. PT on Monday morning, arriving at their hotel around 4 a.m.
Torre didn't get much sleep, going to bed at 5 a.m. He set a wake-up call for 11 a.m., but canceled it when he woke up at 9:30.
"It's a combination of excitement -- and who can sleep anymore?" Torre said. "When everything is done, you don't see me for four or five days so I can decompress. Win or lose, it just stops short and you just hit a wall."
The manager said that the cross-country trip had a much different atmosphere than the one he and his team took in 2000, when they missed an opportunity to wrap up the ALDS at home in Game 4, forcing a trip back to Oakland, where they beat the A's in Game 5.
"It was the worst one ever; 2000 was horrible, because we were home, and if we won, we would stay home," Torre said. "This one, we wanted to come on this trip. We didn't want to go on that trip, which was the difference.
"This is a different team than we were in 2000, but the mood is completely different," he added. "It's not surprising, because in postseason, you live off the last game you play. That develops your personality. That's what wears you out, because the momentum goes back and forth."
If it ain't broke... The Yankees stuck with the same starting lineup as Game 4, starting Bubba Crosby in center field and Bernie Williams as the designated hitter.
"We wanted to do what we did last night; we felt pretty good with it," Torre said. "I don't know why we should change it."
Ruben Sierra, who had the game-tying pinch-hit RBI single in Game 4, is on the bench again.
"Ruben could DH," Torre said, "but he's the only one, really, who comes off the bench if you want to pinch-hit."
More scheduling issues? Major League Baseball decided not to move the start of the ALCS back to Wednesday, meaning that the winner of Monday's Game 5 will travel to Chicago after the game, preparing to play the ALCS opener on Tuesday night.
That would be just fine with the Yankees.
"It's a great problem to have, [complaining] about the times or no day off, because it means you're moving on," Torre said. "That's much better than having four months off."
Mark Feinsand is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.