In an effort to shake up an unproductive lineup, New York Yankees manager Joe Giradi will bench both third baseman Alex Rodriguez and outfielder Nick Swisher for Tuesday's pivotal Game 3 of the team's American League Championship Series matchup with the Detroit Tigers.
Rodriguez, just 1-for-7 in this series and batting a mere .130 (3-for-23) with 12 strikeouts and no RBI during this year's postseason, won't be part of the lineup for a critical game for the second time in less than a week. The three- time league MVP also sat during Friday's deciding Game 5 of the ALDS against Baltimore, a 3-1 Yankees' victory.
The superstar slugger was omitted despite having had very good success against Detroit Game 3 starter Justin Verlander. In six at-bats versus the Tigers' ace this regular season, Rodriguez has four hits -- including two homers -- and three RBI.
Swisher has also been a non-factor at the plate during the playoffs, having gone 4-for-26 (.154) with eight strikeouts and one RBI.
As a team, the Yankees have mustered just four runs while compiling a .192 batting average in losing the first two games of the ALCS.
Swisher will be replaced by Brett Gardner, who hasn't started since Apr. 17 after missing the majority of the season due to elbow surgery, with Eric Chavez manning Rodriguez's usual post at third base.
Gardner, who went 2-for-3 with two RBI off Verlander in Game 3 of last year's ALDS, will bat leadoff on Tuesday. Chavez, a .364 (8-for-22) lifetime hitter against Verlander, is hitting seventh.