10/09/10 9:31 PM ET
Posada passes Mantle on playoff RBI list
By Bryan Hoch and Anthony DiComo / MLB.com
With his run-scoring single off Twins starter Brian Duensing in the second inning of Saturday's American League Division Series Game 3, catcher Jorge Posada passed Mickey Mantle for ninth place all time with his 41st postseason RBI.
Mantle, who played all 65 of his career postseason games in the World Series, did not have the advantage of the modern three-round playoff format, amassing his 40 RBIs in just 273 plate appearances.
Posada, by contrast, needed 450 postseason plate appearances to record his 41st RBI. He ranks fifth all time in playoff plate appearances and third in games played with 114.
Former Yankees outfielder Bernie Williams is the all-time postseason RBI leader with 80 in 545 plate appearances.
As Wood thrives, Joba waits his turn
NEW YORK -- One byproduct of Kerry Wood's sensational start to the 2010 postseason has been the conspicuous absence of Joba Chamberlain. So ubiquitous throughout the Yankees' playoff runs in 2007 and '09, Chamberlain has remained unused throughout the first two games of this year's American League Division Series against the Twins.
Last year, Chamberlain appeared in 10 of his team's 15 postseason games, posting a 2.84 playoff ERA.
"I think Joba loves that pressure," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "Our bullpen got deeper with Kerry. That's the bottom line. Kerry's been excellent, and we've kind of gone with it."
After striking out two batters in a scoreless eighth inning in Thursday's 5-2 Game 2 win, Wood lowered his ERA to 0.65 in 26 games -- including two playoff appearances -- since joining the Yankees. Chamberlain, meanwhile, limped into the postseason, allowing runs in three of his final six appearances and producing a 5.06 ERA over that span.
Simply put, Girardi currently has more trust in Wood for the eighth inning of close ballgames. And so Chamberlain, Girardi's setup man of postseasons past, may continue to sit.
"It would be hard to live up to the expectations that he created in '07," Girardi said of Chamberlain. "He was so dominant; it's pretty hard for anyone to carry that for a long, long period of time. You don't see pitchers do that. He created an expectation by the way he pitched, and it's hard to live up to on a daily basis. He still is effective for us."
"I'm anxious to pitch any day," Chamberlain said. "It will be fun when I get in there."
Berkman keeps offseason options open
NEW YORK -- Lance Berkman carved out a Yankee moment for himself with a home run and RBI double during his club's 5-2 win in Game 2 of the American League Division Series against the Twins, but he isn't sure what the future holds.
Berkman said that he believes it will be an interesting offseason because he does not know what the interest level in him is going to be. He will turn 35 in February and combined to hit .248 with 14 homers and 58 RBIs between New York and Houston in what he called "the worst year of [my] career."
After splitting the designated hitter role in New York with Marcus Thames and appearing only sparingly at first base, Berkman said he did not think it would be a good fit for him to return to the Yankees in 2011 if the DH role was to be shared.
"I don't think so -- I don't like to platoon," Berkman said. "If I was the manager, I'd platoon me, because I've been so bad right-handed this year. But I don't think that's a permanent problem. I mean, I've never been as good right-handed as I have left-handed, but I can certainly be a lot more competitive than I've been this year.
"I like to play every day. The DH role is great, but I like to play the field. I feel like I've got something to offer defensively. I'm not saying that I wouldn't consider coming back as a DH, but I do like to play."
Berkman said that he did not have any indication when he left the Astros -- in a July 31 trade for pitcher Mark Melancon and infielder Jimmy Paredes -- if Houston might be interested in re-signing him after 2010.
"I don't know," Berkman said. "I would think that they might be interested, but once you've cut ties, they may want to go with a youth movement. I don't know what they're thinking. I haven't really talked to anyone over there. ... It happened so fast, there was no conversation to that effect. It was just, 'Beat it.'"