ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Alex Rodriguez's most significant play of this AL Division Series may be remembered as one he didn't make with his glove.
Rodriguez, whose fielding error led to the tying run for the Angels in their Game 2 victory, certainly didn't leave much of an impression with his bat.
He was hitless in Monday night's 5-3 loss that sent the Yankees home for the year, and finished the five-game series with no RBI and a .133 batting average.
He felt he let his teammates down.
"I played great baseball all year, and I played like a dog the last five days. I can't put it into words. This is as low as it
gets. I felt good, I saw the ball well," Rodriguez said. "If I
would have contributed some, maybe we would be moving on to
"I've got to take a long look in the mirror because I didn't do my part. I mean, you win and lose as a team, but I didn't show up."
He wasn't the only one.
Gary Sheffield, quiet most of the series, had three hits in Game 5, but all singles. He didn't have an extra-base hit in the series and drove in only two runs.
Hideki Matsui had a similar five games.
In the Yankees' final at-bat of 2005, Matsui grounded out with two on. Rodriguez had already grounded into a double play earlier in the inning.
Of 11 runners the Yankees left on base, Matsui stranded eight. He was 4-for-20 in the series and had only one RBI, on a home run.
All four Yankees homers in the series were solo shots.
Rodriguez, baseball's only $25 million-a-year player, batted .321 during the regular season, with 48 homers and 130 RBI.
"It's disappointing because this was such a year of trials and tribulations for us. We played so well down the stretch, and to end in this fashion is disappointing," Rodriguez said.
Sheffield hit .291 with 34 homers and 123 RBI. Matsui batted .305, hit 23 home runs and had 116 RBI.
George Steinbrenner once called Dave Winfield "Mr. May" after he went 1-for-22 in the 1981 World Series loss to the Dodgers. The Yankees owner may have some new names for some of his stars after their failures in consecutive postseasons.
Rodriguez was 2-for-17 and Sheffield had one hit in 17 at-bats in the final four games of last year's AL Championship Series while
the Yankees were in the process of blowing a 3-0 lead against the Red Sox.
"You know we're capable," Yankees manager Joe Torre said after
the loss to the Angels. "It's always talking about the thumpers
and all of the big things we can do."
Same as in the ALCS collapse a year earlier, the Yankees didn't
do much thumping.
At least a couple held up their end: leadoff man Derek Jeter batted .333 with two homers and five RBI in the series, and Jason Giambi hit .421 with three doubles, although he drove in only two runs.
Rodriguez believes the Yankees are much better than they showed.
"This team has a lot of potential, and we'll be back," he