Once more with gusto, A-Rod hits the bench in big game

Boy, talk about stacking your lineup. Here is Yankee manager Joe Girardi's lineup for Game 3 of the American League Championship Series, with a pitcher named Justin Verlander starting for the Detroit Tigers:

1. Brett Gardner* - LF
2. Ichiro Suzuki* - RF
3. Mark Teixeira# - 1B
4. Robinson Cano* - 2B
5. Raul Ibanez* - DH
7. Eric Chavez* - 3B

That's as many left-handed hitters as Girardi can possibly field, with no lefty- or switch-hitting options at catcher or shortstop. Of course, the big news here is that Eric Chavez is playing third base instead of Alex Rodriguez, who a) is 3 for 25 -- all three hits singles, of course -- in this postseason, and b) earned $31 million this season.

There is more news, though! With Nick Swisher just 4 for 26 in the postseason -- not to mention a .167 batting average in 45 career postseason games -- he's on the bench with A-Rod, and Brett Gardner's in the lineup ... for the first time since the 17th of April.

Desperation, thy name is Bombers.

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