Yes, that title may be hyperbole. Of course, Derek Jeter has had many huge moments in his career and has played in much bigger games. He has a World Series leadoff homer, a World Series walk-off homer and many, many other postseason records. However, today he was Cal Ripken-like, seizing the moment and putting on a show. It may not be October, but it was still very impressive.
He needed two hits to reach the milestone. He got a hit to lead off the game. Then he homered in the third to become only the second player to reach 3,000 on a round trip. Incidentally enough, the other was Wade Boggs for the 1999 Devil Rays. He wasn’t done as he added three more hits and he had a part in every one of the runs the Yankees scored today. Oh yeah, there was actually a game today where players not named Jeter participated. A lot of other stuff happened.
Some other thoughts:
- A. J. Burnett was dominant throughout the game, but he wasn’t actually all that good. That’s been the story of his entire career. The Rays could not, absolutely could not lay off his curve ball. Yet, the Rays hurt him for two home runs for three runs in 5.2 innings.
- Matt Joyce hit one of the homers in the second inning. B.J. Upton hit the second one on a fastball that A. J. left up in the strike zone.
- Burnett had nine strikeouts today and only allowed three hits. His pitch count was below 90, yet Joe Girardi didn’t trust him enough to make it through six innings.
- David Price wasn’t that great either. He allowed four runs over five innings, but the most concerning thing is how many pitches he threw (112). After the game he tweeted, “I really hope I wake up in a few hours and this was all a bad dream…I still think it’s a possibility…I’ll pinch myself in a few minutes.”
- Despite the Derek Jeter show, the Rays almost won this game even though they collected only five hits. Three of those hits went for extra bases (two homers and a triple), which helped.
Player of the Game: Derek Jeter