The New York Yankees have stood at the summit of the American League East for three months, and in large part it’s really attributed to the consistent play of the Bronx Bombers’ captain Derek Jeter.
A day after being forced out of a game because of reaggravating a bone bruise in his left ankle trying to beat out a double-play ball, Jeter shook off injury to tie the great Willie Mays for 10th place on Major League Baseball’s all-time hits list, while providing a cushion for starting pitcher Phil Hughes to help the Yanks win consecutive games for the first time in a month, with a 2-0 victory over their rival the Boston Red Sox.
After going hitless in his first three at-bats Thursday night, Jeter lifted a single into shallow center field off Red Sox reliever Junichi Tazawa, scoring Yanks’ left fielder Steve Pearce from second base to give the Yanks a 2-0 lead. It was the 3,283rd hit of DJ’s career and his 195th hit of the season, to lead the majors. The 38-year-old is now 30 hits behind Eddie Collins for ninth place on the all-time list.
While Jeter’s prowess at the plate continued, Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez scored his 1,888th run, tying him Yankee legend Lou Gehrig for ninth on the career list, when the Bombers scored first after his single leading off the fourth and stole second base. Felix Doubront, the Red Sox’s starter, walked the next two batters to load the bases before A.Rod scored on a sacrifice fly by Andrew Jones.
However this season turns out for the Yankees, Jeter and Rodriguez will make sure that the Bombers will leave it all on the field. The Yankees lead the majors in homeruns this season and became the first team in baseball history to homer in at least 116 of the first 142 games of the season, according to Elias Sports Bureau. The Yanks have 10 players with at least 10 homers. Jeter has 15, while A.Rod’s hit 15. Curtis Granderson leads the team with 37. The Yankees led the majors in homers last season too, and lost in the first round to the Detroit Tigers, but what separates this year from last season is that Jeter has been hitting extremely well all season long, and despite injury, it doesn’t look like he willing to stop. With the Baltimore Orioles challenging New York’s first place standings each day, the Yankees will need Jeter to keep making history.
When it’s all said and done for Jeter, where do you think the Yankees’ great, and future first ballot Hall of Famer, will stand in the record books?