After the magic night that was Saturday evening’s contest for Alex Rodriguez and the Yankees, the slugger took time in the post game interviews to credit hitting coach Kevin Long with a mechanical adjustment that made the difference. MLB.com has the story:
Rodriguez credited hitting coach Kevin Long with an assist for Saturday’s theatrics, saying they have had good sessions lately working on a flaw.
“It was about clearing my hips,” Rodriguez said. “It was nice to actually get some good work and carry it into the game. … He thought my hips weren’t coming through and basically trying to come through about 70 percent. He got them to 100 percent, and I think it really helped.”
The Yankees, who also received solo homers from Jorge Posada and Curtis Granderson in the victory, weren’t complaining about the breakthrough.
“We’re always looking for things to make guys better, and that’s why K-Long is so good at what he does,” Girardi said. “He never rests. He’s always looking at little things, and if a guy is a little off, he’s able to spot it. He spotted something and he went to work on it today, and it paid off.”
What impressed me most about last night was the relative ease in which Alex generated so much power. That’s nothing new, but you really see it when he’s going well. When he’s out of sorts, his swing gets a bit ‘armsy’ (for lack of a better word) where drive appears to be coming mostly from his upper body, which also makes people wonder about the condition of his hip. Last night, he was smooth and easy to the ball. Perhaps more impressively, the last two HRs were both off good pitches. Check out the highlights from YES. The 9th inning HR off Greg Holland was a 96 MPH fastball (YES gun) that was a strike on the inside part of the plate. The 7th inning HR off former Yankee farmhand (Swisher trade) Kanekoa Texeira was a 94 MPH fastball that was down and out of the zone, which Alex hit off his back foot and sent 439 feet. Nights like these remind us of just how special it is to watch someone like Alex play the game, he’s one of the all-time greats.
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