10/09/07 1:05 AM ET
Yankees Short Hops: Game 4
Rodriguez's strong showing can't erase Wang's dud
By Jordan Bastian / MLB.com
A rough start by Chien-Ming Wang was enough to bounce the Yankees from the playoffs for the seventh straight season. Frozen moment
With the Yankees trailing by four runs, shortstop Derek Jeter stood in against Indians reliever Rafael Perez with runners on first and third base in the sixth inning. After working into a 2-1 count, Jeter chopped a pitch from Perez to the right side of the infield, where Indians second baseman Asdrubal Cabrera scooped up the ball and helped turn an inning-ending double play. That missed chance summed up the disappointing showing by the Yankees offense during the series. Big number
1 -- Over the four games against Cleveland, New York managed just one hit in 11 tries with two outs and runners in scoring position. Game balls
It's no secret that Rodriguez has faced extreme scrutiny for his prolonged postseason dry spell as a member of the Yankees. In Games 3 and 4 of this ALDS, though, A-Rod went a combined 4-for-9 with one home run. That blast came in the seventh inning on Monday, marking Rodriguez's first RBI in a playoff tilt since Game 4 of the 2004 AL Championship Series. He was 6-for-51 with no RBIs in his previous 12 playoff contests.
Cano was one of the lone bright spots for New York's anemic offense in the ALDS. In the series finale, the Yankees second baseman went 2-for-4 with a solo home run. Overall, Cano finished the series hitting .333 (5-for-15) with a pair of home runs -- the first two of his postseason career -- and three RBIs.
Mussina wasn't spectacular, but the veteran right-hander played damage control against the Indians. Mussina might have started Game 4, but the Yankees went with Wang, who was chased after allowing four runs in just one-plus innings. New York then turned to Mussina, who yielded two runs on four hits with four walks and three strikeouts in 4 2/3 innings.
Sense of October
The Yankees could only stand and watch as a mob of Indians celebrated on New York's field after clinching a series-ending victory in front of a shocked crowd in the Bronx. The loss knocked New York out of the first round of the playoffs for the third straight year and sent Cleveland to its first ALCS since 1998.
5 AB, 2 H, 1 HR, 1 RBI
Comment: In potentially his last game with the Yankees, Rodriguez shook off his woeful efforts of postseasons past.
1+ IP, 4 R, 5 H, 0 BB, 0 K, 1 HR, HBP, L
Comment: Pitching on three days' rest, Wang never looked in control for the Yankees.
"I will tell you one thing about this team -- we left our hearts and souls out there, and we can't look in the mirror and say we left anything behind. We left it all out there, and I think the city of New York, for that, should be proud." -- Rodriguez
Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.