NYTimes.com, “Bats”, By the Numbers: A-Rod’s Grand Slams, June 2, 2010

June 2, 2010, 3:32 PM

By the Numbers: A-Rod’s Grand Slams


To any manager who walks Mark Teixeira to load the bases to face Alex Rodriguez, I have to ask the same question Hugh Grant was asked, in so many words, by Jay Leno: What were you thinking?

In Rodriguez’s career, through May 31, he has had 243 plate appearances with the bases loaded. He is 70 for 200, a .350 batting average. He has walked 22 times, hit 16 sacrifice flies and been hit by five pitches. He has 22 doubles and 229 runs batted in. Rodriguez now has 20 grand slams in his career, seven with Seattle, three with Texas and 10 with the Yankees. He trails only Lou Gehrig (23) and Manny Ramirez (21) on the career grand slam list.

Here is the chronology:

1. Alex Rodriguez hit his first grand slam on April 18, 1996, off Clint Sadowsky of the Tigers after a single by Dan Wilson that scored a run and left the bases full.

2. On May 17, 1996, Camden Yards was the scene for his next grand slam in wild game won by the O’s, 14-13. A-Rod’s eighth-inning blast off Alan Mills followed an unintentional walk to Brian Hunter.

3. On July 6, 1996, at the Ballpark in Arlington, Rodriguez went deep against his future Rangers teammates in the second inning off of Kevin Gross after Joey Cora drew a walk. Edgar Martinez followed with a homer of his own for good measure.

4. In an interleague game on July 19, 1999, at Safeco, Rodriguez’s slam off of Arizona’s Vincent Padilla followed a David Bell walk.

5. Just 11 days after that, on July 30, 1999, at Safeco, Rodriguez homered with the bases jammed off Arthur Rhodes of the Orioles after a Ken Griffey Jr. swinging strike three.

6. Esteban Yan of the Devil Rays gave up his third grand slam of the season on Sept. 16 at Tropicana Field. Jay Buhner had just drawn a walk to load ‘em up.

7. April 16, 2000, in Toronto, Rodriguez hit three homers, two off of Chris Carpenter and the slam off of Pedro Borbon after a run-scoring single by Stan Javier. Rodriguez had seven R.B.I.

8. By July 5, 2001, Rodriguez was playing at home for the Rangers at the Ballpark in Arlington, so this was his first slam against the Mariners. Brian Fuentes gave it up right after he walked Ricky Ledee to force in a run.

9. A little more than a year later, on July 27, 2002, Rodriguez was in Arlington facing the A’s and hit a solo blast off of Aaron Harang in the second. His next homer was a game-ending grand slam with one down in the bottom of the 10th right after Billy Koch hit Herbert Perry with a pitch.

10. Almost a year to the date, July 31, 2003, Rodriguez faced Todd Jones of the Red Sox with two outs in the 11th and hit a game-ending grand slam. Hank Blalock preceded the blast by drawing a walk.

11. On April 26, 2005, Rodriguez was a Yankee facing the Angels’ Bartolo Colon. In the first inning Rodriguez hit a three-run homer; in the third inning he hit a two-run homer; and in the fourth he hit his grand slam after a walk to Hideki Matsui, putting an end to Colon’s day. Rodriguez finished 4 for 5 with 10 R.B.I.

12. On opening day, April 3, 2006, in the Oakland Coliseum, Randy Johnson faced Barry Zito and the A’s. Zito didn’t get out of the second, giving up seven runs that inning, four of them on Rodriguez’s grand slam after Zito had struck out Gary Sheffield.

13. July 2 of that year Rodriguez hit his second slam of the year and his second in interleague play when he took Alay Soler of the Mets deep after a Jason Giambi single.

14. On April 7, 2007, the Yanks trailed the Orioles, 7-6, with two outs in the bottom of the ninth. Closer Chris Ray was on the mound, and after he hit Bobby Abreu with a pitch, Rodriguez sent a 1-2 pitch into deep right-center for another game-winning grand slam.

15. June 7 that season in Chicago, Rodriguez hit his slam off Ryan Bukvich right after Boone Logan walked Bobby Abreu to load the bases.

16. Rodriguez hit his third of the season on Sept. 25, against the Devil Rays at the Trop. Another Abreu walk preceded the blast off Jason Hammel. The Yanks blew a 5-0 lead in that game and lost, 7-6, in 10 innings.

17. By September 14, 2008, Tampa Bay’s team was now the Rays, but it made no difference to Rodriguez. After a Jason Giambi first-inning walk, he slammed Edwin Jackson.

18. Remember the last game of Yankees’ 2009 season? The fans at Tropicana Field certainly do, as does Andy Sonnanstine of the Rays. On Oct. 4 the Rays were up, 2-0, going into the sixth inning. Mark Teixeira was tied with the injured Tampa first baseman Carlos Pena for the league home run lead and the Rays’ pitchers did not seem inclined to allow Teixeira to win the crown outright. Teixeira walked off of Wade Davis after a Johnny Damon double and A-Rod homered to put the Yankees on the board and in the lead, 3-2. The second time up that inning, Teixeira drew an intentional pass from Sonnanstine and this time Rodriguez followed with a grand slam, his second homer and seventh R.B.I. of the inning, and his 30th homer and 100th R.B.I. of the season.

19. Brian Duensing and the Twins did not learn much from Sonnanstine. On May 14 this season, the Twins pitcher also intentionally walked Teixeira only to find that Rodriguez repeats history as well and he slammed another one.

20. Closing out the month of May, the Yankees were home facing the Indians and in the sixth inning, after Rafael Perez wild-pitched runners to second and third, the Tribe opted to intentionally pass Teixeira. Perez handed off mound duties to Chris Perez, who had the honor of permitting Alex Rodriguez’s 20th career grand slam. Robinson Cano followed with a homer of his own.

Bottom line:
• He hit three each in 1996, 1999, and 2007; one each in 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2008, and 2009; and two in 2006 and two so far two this season.
• 20 different pitchers have surrendered A-Rod’s grand slams.
• 14 different opponents have been subject to the blasts, with Tampa the victim four times, Orioles three times and Oakland twice.
• Two have been hit in interleague play.
• Four have been hit in the Rangers ballpark, four in the new Yankee Stadium, three in Tropicana Field, two in Safeco, two in the old Stadium, and one each in US Cellular (Chicago), Camden Yards, Network Associates (Oakland), Kingdome (Seattle) and SkyDome (Toronto).
• He has hit 10 from the cleanup position, four each from the No. 2 and No. 3 slots in the batting order, and once when batting fifth and once when batting ninth.
• He has hit 10 as a shortstop, nine as third baseman and one as a D.H.
• He has hit at least one in every inning from the 1st to the 11th.
• Seven have come with one out, seven with two down and six with nobody out.
• He has hit 4 off of lefties and 16 off of righties.
• Twelve have come at home and eight on the road.
• Ten of the grannies gave his team the lead.
• He has hit three game-ending slams.
• The last three slams have followed intentional walks to Mark Teixeira.
• A-Rod is now 5 for 5 with 3 grand slams and 18 runs batted in over seven plate appearances after a Teixeira intentional pass.

What are those managers thinking?