Oh, Alex Rodriguez, here we go again.
The small-sample size police are out again, but Rodriguez, the Yankees' third baseman, has gone 0-for-10 thus far in three games during the ALDS.
He's hitless, and everyone is starting to notice again. In Game 2, he already heard the boo birds calling him at Yankee Stadium. After Game 3, the issue of his struggles has started to gain steam in the New York media.
Remember the 2006 ALDS against the Tigers? Rodriguez did have a hit in that series. But he also finished 1-for-14 in the four-game series loss. And he earned the embarrassing distinction of being dropped to eighth in the Yankees lineup by then-manager Joe Torre.
Now, the Yankees are in the same situation: facing elimination in Game 4 in Detroit. And, again, the spotlight will shine on Rodriguez to lead the Yankees out of this predicament.
Neither his short-term numbers in general nor his short-term postseason numbers since 2009 are especially comforting. Since that postseason of redemption in 2009, during which he carried the Yankees to the World Series, Rodriguez has reverted back to his struggles of postseasons of old.
The 2009 postseason was chock-full of dramatic moments - clutch hits, home runs and a slew of RBI. But Rodriguez has not hit a postseason home run since Game 3 of the 2009 World Series against the Phillies, when he brought the Yankees back from an early deficit in the fourth inning with a two-run shot off Cole Hamels.
Since then, it's been 63 homerless postseason at-bats. Against Minnesota in the ALDS last year, he had one RBI and a .580 OPS. As the Yankees fell to the Texas Rangers in the ALCS, he hit .190 with a .606 OPS in 26 at-bats.
New York forgets quickly. And so, after he weakly popped out to second base in the eighth inning of a Game 2 in which the Yankees trailed, his struggles brought back old memories - and brought back the boos.
There's no need to get emotional, Rodriguez told reporters after Game 2. One big hit can really change this season around.
For his part, Rodriguez still isn't pressing - at least publicly. But that one big hit certainly seems a lot more pressing Tuesday than it was Monday. It's showing in his comments to reporters from game to game, as his approach went from calm and collected to defiant Monday night.
I thought I had four quality at-bats, Rodriguez said. The best I felt all series.
If one thing is certain, it's that Yankees manager Joe Girardi is not going to drastically alter Rodriguez's spot in the lineup like his predecessor Torre. He said the one thing he doesn't want to do is make his players try and do too much.
But Rodriguez is back to teetering on the edge. New York forgets quickly. Another 0-fer and another quick Yankees exit could make them forget even quicker.