CC stands for Carsten Charles in Charge

    Wednesday, July 27, 2011, 2:06 AM [General]

    As CC Sabathia was easing through another lineup, this time the nine men for the Seattle Mariners, one number kept piling up and it wasn't hits. As the strikeouts continued and the hits remained non-existent a phone call was made after Franklin Guttierez struck out looking for the final out of the fifth. It was a quick, yet a direct phone conversation and perhaps similar to other conversations or text message exchanges and it went like this:

    Me: Are you watching the Yankee game?

    Other end:  No, I’m watching a movie.

    Me: Well you might want to put the game on.

    Other end: Why?

    Me: Well, Sabathia has one of those games. Actually he has one of thooose games going on.

    Other end: Oh, I got what you’re saying, thanks for alerting me.

    One of those with an added emphasis on the letter O meant Sabathia was throwing a perfect game. It’s a way to express it without saying it but doing so in a manner that the other member of the conversation gets exactly what is being said.

    There’s little doubt in my mind and virtually everyone else’s mind what would have happened if there was not any weather interference that delayed things for a total of 44 minutes, 30 minutes in the fifth and another 14 in the middle of the seventh.

    Sabathia lost the perfect game with one out in the seventh when Brendan Ryan lined a 2-0 fastball into left field for a clean single that nobody was getting. Other than that and walking the bases loaded in the eighth after the second delay it was a flawless night for Sabathia.

    How flawless has Sabathia been? Consider the following tidbits about a man so outgoing that while a perfect game is happening he is engaging in lively conversations with teammates.

    •  His 14 strikeouts were the most by a Yankee lefty since David Wells fanned 16 against Oakland on July 30, 1997.
    •  He is the first Yankee to become the first 15-game winner in two different seasons. He also did that in 2009 when he was 9-6 at the All-Star break.
    •  He has allowed five earned runs in his last seven starts, going 6-1 with a 0.82 ERA since June 25. That totals 54 2/3 innings, 31 hits, 16 walks, 72 strikeouts, one home run and a .166 opponent batting average.
    • He is 8-1 with a 1.70 ERA (68 2/3 innings, 13 earned runs, 17 walks, 81 strikeouts) in nine starts since June 14.
    • He is 12-2 with a 2.06 ERA (109 innings, 25 earned runs) in his last 14 starts since May 19.

    You get the idea. That is a sampling of how dominant Sabathia has been overall but here’s a sampling of how Sabathia was so overpowering even against the worst offense in the game in the midst of a 17-game losing streak.

    • He threw 71 of 102 pitches for strikes
    • He had two balls hit into the outfield
    • He had 17 swings and misses
    • He had 18 foul balls

    He had four at-bats go past five pitches and half were the final two of the game after the second rain delay

    You get the idea. No matter the opponent, this was a masterpiece of the first degree and here’s one more thing. At one point he struck out seven straight hitters and it took 30 pitches to do so.

    I’ve never seen a no-hitter in person. I have seen a few go into the seventh inning with some luck due to good defensive plays. This was the first time having no doubt it was going to happen because of how dialed in Sabathia was and has been over the last two months.

    0 (0 Ratings)

    Items of Interest - Trap Game Edition

    Monday, July 25, 2011, 6:05 PM [General]

    Today is July 25 and a year and one year ago, Freddy Garcia was pitching for the White Sox and results did not go well. He pitched in Oakland, could not get past the second inning of a 10-2 loss.

    Garcia faced 13 hitters and was gone after walking current Mariner Jack Cust. Garcia has had one such start that lasted that short and that was last month against the Red Sox.

    On the injury front, Rafael Soriano is slated to pitch in Triple-A again. He pitched yesterday and gave up a home run while facing Columbus.

    Eric Chavez is closer and could be activated tomorrow if the Yankees evaluate him to be feeling better.

    And finally Alex Rodriguez is two weeks removed from knee surgery but no timetable is set for him to start baseball activities.

    Those players are missing facing a team that surprised by being .500 but is playing like a team headed for a third 100-loss season since 2008.

    The Mariners take a 15-game losing streak into this one and during that time, they have .226 and that is with a respectable .284 showing over the last six games. Also they haven’t been able to pitch, posting a 5.97 ERA during this club-record streak.

    The streak broke the mark set by the 1992 team and that is hard to believe that a team with Randy Johnson, Ken Griffey Jr, Omar Vizquel, Tino Martinez and Jay Buhner could ever be that bad.

    It is just not the 15 in a row that is part of the downward trend. That streak happened just as they were at .500 (43-43) but is part of four wins during the last 23 games, which makes you wonder if this is a trap game.

    "It’s a weird feeling because you’ve got to believe they’re going to play extremely hard," manager Joe Girardi said. "So I would throw out that they lost 15 in a row."

    This happens to be the first time the Yankees are facing someone with a 15-game losing streak was Sept. 8, 1926. The Red Sox snapped a 17-game skid when rookie Hal Wiltse pitched a complete game and struck out Lou Gehrig three times.

    As for the mood of the Mariners, obviously they are frustrated with all the losing, but it can’t turn up in their play.

    "I think they’re handling it as best as they can," Eric Wedge said to a gathering of approximately 30 media members inside his office. "Anytime you go through a tough stretch of this magnitude, it wears on everybody."

    On the human interest side of things, today is the start of the third annual HOPE Week, which is a community outreach project started by the Yankees two years ago. The Yankees won all five games during the week in 2009 and won three of five last year.

    Jon Lane has the full description of today’s event while Jerome Preisler and Joe Auriemma are on the scene.

    You can follow Jerome and Joe on Twitter at @YankeesInk and @JoeAuriemmaYES, respectively, for all the details and some pictures as well.

    It also puts into perspective of going 0-for-4 and lengthy losing streaks.

    "Baseball is extremely important to all of us," Girardi said. "To me, one of the most important things we can do is give people hope,".

    Girardi then went on to why he believes that, stemming from when his mother was given six months to live and then lived for six more years.

    0 (0 Ratings)

    Rivera reaches a quarter of a century in saves again

    Monday, July 25, 2011, 1:50 AM [General]

    There's a certain calmness in the air when Mariano Rivera takes the mound. It is the quiet nature of a man who simply wants to finish games as quickly as possible.

    That's why when the bases were loaded in the ninth inning Sunday against Oakland, the feeling was the inning would end the way it started - with the Yankees winning. Even after he gave up a run, the sense was something good was going to happen and it did when David DeJesus lined into a double play.

    That out signified the 15th straight season that Rivera has reached 25 saves. While it's not as significant as the others (500 saves, 600 saves when he gets it), it is still notable because of the testament to consistency, durability and calmness.

    And here's the other 14 times that Rivera reached his 25th save.

    1 - June 25, 1997 - Rivera had 43 saves in his first year as the full-time closer and reached 25 shortly before the All-Star break at Detroit's Tiger Stadium. The Yankees went up 3-1 in the top of the ninth on Charlie Hayes' two-run home run off Justin Thompson and Rivera faced Jody Reed, Curtis Pride and Raul Cassnova. Pride singled but Cassanova bounced into a 4-6-3 double play, giving Rivera 25 saves in the Yankees' first 43 wins.

    2 - July 20, 1998 - Rivera would have reached it before the break but missed part of April but for the second straight year it came against the Tigers. This time it was in the second game of a doubleheader and it occurred after Rivera recorded four outs in the ninth and 10th of a 17-inning loss. In the nightcap, Rivera came into a one-run game after Mike Stanton gave up two in the eighth and retired Paul Bako, Deivi Cruz and Brian Hunter, giving Rivera 25 saves in the Yankees' first 69 victories.

    3 - July 21, 1999 - Almost a year later and three days after David Cone's perfect game, Rivera reached 25 by preserving another 4-3 victory. This time, it was the Rays and Rivera was responsible for the one-run game by giving up an RBI double to John Flaherty. Flaherty stayed at second because Wade Boggs flied to left and Terrell Lowery lined out to center field, giving Rivera 25 saves in the Yankees' first 56 wins.

    4 - August 1, 2000 - This time Rivera reached it in August, doing so in a 5-4 victory over the Royals at the Stadium. The Yankees held a 4-2 lead before Jeff Nelson gave up a two-run double to Johnny Damon in the eighth. The Yankees regained the lead on Scott Brosius' leadoff home run off Ricky Bottalico and Rivera nailed it down with strikeouts of David McCarty and Todd Dunwoody and a groundout to Greg Zaun, giving him 25 saves in the Yankees' first 57 games.

    5 - June 29, 2001 - Rivera reached the quarter century mark in a game that Roger Clemens improved to 11-1 in a game the Yankees started out with a seven-run lead. A save was created in the seventh when Tampa Bay scored four and Rivera nailed down his 25th save by striking out Brent Abernathy, Russ Johnson and Jason Tyner. The strikeouts gave Rivera 25 saves in the Yankees' first 44 victories.

    6 - August 8, 2002 - Rivera returned from the DL in this weekday afternoon game against the Royals that I covered during a vacation week from SportsTicker. And he looked seamless in doing so by getting Aaron Guiel, Neifi Perez and Brent Mayne. The save was created after Andy Pettitte allowed an RBI single to Raul Ibanez that scored Carlos Beltran and that gave the Yankees' their 71st victory.

    7 - August 15, 2003 - Rivera missed the first month of the 2003 season and the night he reached 25 saves whoever was paying attention in the New York area was probably doing so on a battery-powered radio and sitting outside while following along and waiting for the power to return. A day after a blackout struck the New York area, Rivera was in Baltimore, putting the finishing touches on an 6-4 victory. This one was not an easy one as Jack Cust led off with a home run and Brook Fordyce and Luis Matos singled. Rivera then finished off the Yankees' 73rd victory by fielding groundouts from Jose Leon and Jay Gibbons.

    8 - June 9, 2004 - Rivera reached 25 early because the Yankees put together a stretch of 18 wins in 21 games that saw Rivera rack up 12 saves. This time, he did it in interleague play against the Colorado Rockies in a 7-5 victory. The Yankees were down by one going into the seventh but took the lead on home runs by Derek Jeter and Bernie Williams. Rivera opened by striking out Mark Sweeney but then gave up a base hit to Todd Greene. The Yankees' 37th victory was secured on groundouts by Choo Freeman and Aaron Miles.

    9 - July 24, 2005 - For the first time, Rivera was on a team that struggled to go over .500. The Yankees did not go over the break-even point for good until winning improving to 40-39 on July 2, 2005. Rivera had 17 saves at the time and reached 25 in a 4-1 win at Anaheim. In the Yankees' lone regular season win there, Rivera recorded five outs. With two on in a 3-1 game, Rivera replaced Tom Gordon and retired Macier Izturis. After the Yankees added a run, Rivera struck out Juan Rivera, retired Bengie Molina and fanned Adam Kennedy to seal the Yankees' 52nd victory.

    10 - July 26, 2006 - Rivera reached this point in 2006 shortly after notching his 400th save.  He was needed after Jason Giambi hit a two-run home run off Akinori Otsuka that turned a one-run deficit into an 8-7 lead. The lead stayed that way when Rod Barajas and Gary Matthews Jr. were retired. Rivera gave up a base hit to Ian Kinsler but Michael Young grounded out and the Yankees had their 59th victory.

    11 - September 9, 2007 - Rivera finished with 30 saves as the Yankees raced to make the playoffs after being a game under .500 at the break. He didn't get his 10th save until June 28 at Baltimore in a game that actually was suspended and completed a month later. Twenty-five was a preservation of Chien Ming-Wang's 18th victory in Kansas City and Rivera gave up a two-out hit to Jason Smith but then ended the Yankees' 81st victory by getting John Buck on a groundout.

    12 - July 23, 2008 - The second half of Rivera's lone non-playoff season began well as the Yankees won eight in a row. Rivera had two saves, including number 25 in a 5-1 victory over the Twins. Rivera actually did not pitch the entire ninth but came on with two outs and two on in relief of LaTroy Hawkins. He faced Jason Kubel, who hit a grand slam off him May 16, 2010 but in this encounter Rivera nailed down the Yankees' 56th victory by striking out the left-handed slugger.

    13 - July 18, 2009 - The Yankees were scorching through the summer of 2009, opening the second half with 10 wins in 12 games and 23 wins in 29 games. Rivera had 12 saves in that span and the 25th was in a 2-1 game against the Tigers on the day of an outstanding duel between CC Sabathia and Justin Verlander. The Yankees lost the shutout when Marcus Thames homered off Alfredo Aceves in the eighth but Rivera retired Ryan Raburn, Brandon Inge and Gerald Laird. That gave Sabathia his ninth victory and the Yankees their 53rd.

    14 - August 21, 2010 - This one happened at home on a Saturday afternoon against the Mariners. A night after the Yankees were handcuffed by Felix Hernandez, Rivera relieved David Robertson with two outs and two on in the eighth. He retired Michael Saunders on a pop-out. In the ninth, Ichiro and Chone Figgins singled but with runners at the corners, Rivera preserved the Yankees' 76th victory by getting Russell Branyan and Jose Lopez on a groundouts.

    0 (0 Ratings)

    A magical mystery tour of Jeter teammates

    Monday, July 18, 2011, 1:40 AM [General]

    I don’t know about you but I can’t get enough of leafing through the Derek Jeter list of his 3,000+ hits. There are a million ways (not really a million ways) you can break it down even nearly a week later and those are more interesting than other things associated with the milestone.

    You can go lefty/righty, by first name, starter or reliever, Red Sox, Orioles, guys from California, the Dominican Republic. You get the idea and I did none of those things, what I did was find the hits of pitchers that Jeter was a teammate of at some point and that counts pitchers who did not last one month as a Yankee

    The first teammate that Jeter got a hit off was Randy Johnson. Johnson was here 2005-2006 and Jeter’s third hit came off the “Big Unit” on May 31, 1995 and that hit is notable because it was his first RBI.

    Jack McDowell was a teammate of Jeter’s during his cameo in 1995 and by 1996 he was in Cleveland with the then defending AL champions. The first time Jeter had a hit off “Black Jack” was April 3, 1996 when he had two hits during his first career three-hit game and in a win that saw him score five times.

    David Wells had two memorable stints in the Bronx doing such things as pitching in Babe Ruth’s hat in 1997, a perfect game in 1998 and getting attacked in a Manhattan diner in 2002. Before all that, Wells was a member of the Orioles and in the famous May 1, 1996 game in Baltimore, Jeter had his only hit of the 11-6 win off the man called “Boomer”.

    Sterling Hitchcock was a Yankee from 1992-1995 and then returned during the summer of 2001. When he faced Jeter on May 24, 1996, he was doing so in the Kingdome as a Mariner and that night he gave up a two-run home run and a RBI single which occurred in a 10-4 Yankee loss.

    Paul Quantrill was a frequently used reliever during the 2004 season but eight years earlier he was a Blue Jay starting pitcher and when he faced Jeter in the third inning of an 8-1 Yankee win, he gave up a base hit which was hit number 60.

    Mike Mussina was Jeter’s teammate from 2001-2008 missing World Series titles by one year at the start and end of his Yankee tenure. Before that season, he gave up a few hits to Jeter as an Oriole and that included a go-ahead two-run home run in the eighth inning of a 4-2 win on July 11, 1996, which was the famous four-game sweep of that season.

    Scott Erickson pitched nine games for the Yankees in 2006, two years after a failed stint with the Mets. Before that, he was known for pitching a no-hitter for Minnesota in 1994 and then as an Oriole and on July 14, 1996 he gave up Jeter’s 95th hit, which was a base hit in the third inning of a 4-1 Yankee win.

     Roger Clemens became infamous for a lot of off the field stuff but when he gave up his first hit to Jeter on July 16, 1996, he was in the midst of his last season with the Red Sox because GM Dan Duquette thought he was done and considering the enhancements named in the Mitchell Report that appears likely. But during a night that saw him fall to 4-9, the hit was a double during a four-run second inning, which was Jeter's 98th hit.

     

    Tom Gordon can be described the same way as Quantrill but on July 17, 1996, he was a starting pitcher in Boston and when he gave up Jeter’s 99th hit, it was a double that did not lead to a run in a 12-11 game. Of course the news of Jeter's 99th hit was not a big deal because of TWA flight 800 crashing.

    Ricky Bones was traded to the Yankees but then sent back to Milwaukee, where he faced Jeter on July 20, 1996 and in the sixth inning gave up a base hit, which was Jeter's 104th hit. Of course, Bones is more known for being part of the package San Diego sent to Milwaukee for Gary Sheffield, who was then sent to Florida a year later for Trevor Hoffman.

    C.J. Nitkowski pitched for the Yankees in 2004 for 19 appearances. Eight years earlier, he was a starting pitcher for a 109-loss Tiger team and on August 11, he gave up hits 134 and 135, which were two singles.

    Steve Karsay is pretty active on twitter nowadays and was a Yankee in 2002 and a part of 2003. Before that point, he was with Oakland and on April 4, 1997 he gave up 10 hits, including three to Jeter in a game that saw the Yankees go 3-for-16 with men on base and Jeter fall a home run shy of the cycle. Those hits were 197, 198 and 199 for Jeter.

    Billy Brewer was a Yankee for four games in 1996 and by April 5, 1997 had moved to the Athletics. There he gave a double during Jeter’s four hit game, which was his third career and gave him 203 for his career.

    Allen Watson played with three teams in 1999 and one was the Yankees whom he ended his career with the following year. Before then, Watson was an Angel and on April 9, 1997 he gave up Jeter’s 212th hit, which was the first of 18 Yankee hits that night.

    Jimmy Key was a CY Young candidate in 1993 and 1994. By the time he became Jeter’s teammate, he was breaking down in 1997 he wound up with Baltimore and they were the AL front-runners on June 3. That night in a 7-5 win, Key gave up hits number 256 and 257, a pair of singles.

    Mark Hutton pitched in 21 games for the Yankees, making his debut against the Angels July 23, 1993. After briefly playing with Jeter, he was traded to the Marlins for David Weathers. On June 13, 1997, he was one of six relievers for Al Leiter and in the top of the 12th he gave up a single to Jeter, which was hit number 265 that put men on first and third.

    Cory Lidle sadly was a short-lived Jeter teammate, dying in a plane crash in 2006. Before becoming Jeter’s teammate, he pitched in the first Subway Series in 1997 and on June 17, 1997, he gave up Jeter’s 270th hit, a sixth-inning single. Lidle also would face Jeter at points during the 2001 and 2002 team with some very good Oakland teams.

    Denny Neagle also briefly played with Jeter in 2000 before becoming a poster-child for bad pitching contracts with Colorado. Before joining Jeter, he faced him July 1, 1997 for the Braves and gave up three singles but that did not affect the performance as Neagle improved to 12-1 that night at the stadium despite allowing hits 288, 289 and 290.

    Dan Miceli was a Yankee reliever briefly in 2003 and six years earlier for the Tigers on July 12, 1997, he gave up Jeter’s 300th career hit, an RBI double in the eighth that scored Mark Whiten.

    LaTroy Hawkins pitched briefly here in 2008 and was the opposing pitcher for David Wells’ perfect game. Nine months before May 17, 1998 he fell to 3-7 by allowing eight hits in four innings and one was a leadoff single in the fifth that was Jeter's 325th and preceded a three-run home run by Bernie Williams.

    Aaron Small’s 10-0 record in 2005 became quite the story, which was helped along by Small’s nice persona. Eight years beforehand, he was an Athletics' reliever and faced Jeter on August 27, 1997. Jeter had a bunt single and then scored on Bernie Williams’ two-run go-ahead double but the Yankees lost on an error by Paul O’Neill, taking the hook off Small, who allowed Jeter's 355th hit.

    Scott Kamieniecki came up during the 1991 season but was injured most of 1996 and in 1997 he faced his fellow Michgan fan, allowing a leadoff single on September 14 but then picked him off first base, getting some redemption for allowing Jeter's 370th hit.

    The night of May 6, 1998 in Texas was quite the night as the Yankees picked up a 15-13 and traded seven run innings. Jeter had hits 420-423 and drove in five runs. The last of those hits came off John Wetteland, who mentored Mariano Rivera in 1996 and it was a solo home run in the top of the ninth that provided the 15th run.

    Dan Naulty appeared in 33 games for the 1999 Yankees and eight years after, he admitted to the Daily News of using steroids during his career.  That included 1998 with the Twins when he gave up Jeter’s 428th career hit, a base hit in the sixth inning of a 7-0 Yankee win on May 10, 1998.

    Bartolo Colon has wowed Yankee fans with his fastball this year and June 21, 1998 for the Indians he was doing the same with 10 strikeouts in eight innings of an 11-0 win. He gave up three hits and one was a third-inning single to Jeter, whose 463th hit was a blip in a Cleveland rout.

    Al Leiter was Jeter’s teammate during 2005, a year after his Mets’ tenure ended. On June 26, 1998 at Shea, he gave up hit number 467, a one-out single that chased Leiter in the seventh and led to the Mel Rojas’ second-guess by Tim McCarver after the Paul O’Neill hit a three-run home run.

    Jaret Wright joined the Yankees in 2005 after rescuing his career with the Braves. Before that he was a rising star for the Indians and on July 13, 1998 in Cleveland he faced Jeter, giving up a pair of two-out base hits while beating the Yankees, 4-1.

    Jay Witasick struggled as a Yankee reliever during 2001 but three years earlier was a spot starter for Oakland in a doubleheader on August 4, 1998. That night he gave up Jeter’s 517th hit, a base hit to left field.

    Kenny Rogers played with Jeter for two years before turning into Scott Brosius and he was responsible for hit number 519, an RBI single in the third inning that accounted for the first run of an eventual 10-5 Yankee win in Oakland on August 4, 1998.

    Esteban Loaiza was a 21-game winner for the 2003 White Sox. A year later he was a Yankee but six years before he was on Texas, where he would stay before being sent to Toronto for Michael Young. On August 16, 1998, he gave up Jeter’s 535th and 536th career hits, which were a two-run home run and a double in a 6-5 Yankee win.

    Sidney Ponson was a stopgap Yankee starter during 2006 and 2008 but was more known for his days with the Orioles. On September 19, 1998, Ponson shut out the Yankees for 7 1/3 innings but allowed hits 577 and 578 to Jeter, and those were a pair of singles in a game that was the last game Cal Ripken Jr. played during his run of 2,632 consecutive games, a streak that began when Jeter was seven.

    Freddy Garcia is currently Jeter’s smoke and mirrors teammate with his array of off-speed pitches and the hard-throwing version everyone refers to was a Mariner from 1998-2004, including the day of May 8, 1999. A day after getting five RBI, Jeter settled for hit number 631, a third-inning single in a 14-5 loss.

    Jeff Weaver made his Yankee debut on July 7, 2002. Three years earlier he was a rising pitcher for a dreadful Tigers’ team and on July 8, 1999 at Tiger Stadium Weaver pitched eight innings and allowed two runs and seven hits. Two of those hits were to Jeter, who had hits number 709 and 710, which were singles during the Yankees’ last appearance at that ballpark.

    Javier Vazquez’s two Yankee stints 2004 and 2010 are mostly forgettable, but another Yankee Stadium appearance is memorable. That would be when he opposed David Cone in his perfect game on July 18, 1999 and gave up seven hits, including a two-out two-run home run in the second inning that accounted for hit number 719.

    Mike Thurman’s major league career concluded with 12 appearances for the Yankees but three years earlier he was an Expo for a 7-4 loss at the Stadium on July 20. That night he gave up two singles to Jeter who moved up to 722 and 723 with the hits.

    Jim Brower pitched briefly for the Yankees during 2007. How briefly? It was three appearances from August 6-14, 2007 but eight years earlier he was a September call-up for the Indians. On September 19, 1999, he was gone after 3 1/3 innings after allowing nine hits and six runs. Jeter accounted for one-third with a home run in the third and an RBI single in the fourth and those were hits number 790 and 791.

    Carl Pavano had one of the more forgettable Yankee careers, though he was the opening day starter in 2007. Long before being dubbed “American Idle” by the New York Post, he was known for being traded for Pedro Martinez and the man who gave up Mark McGwire’s 70th home run in 1998. He also was lesser known for allowing Jeter’s 864th hit, a base hit that happened during a five-run fifth inning.

    Tanyon Sturtze was no fan of Pavano as documented in a book about the 2006 season. Long before disliking Pavano, he was a Tampa Bay reliever pitcher and on July 21, 2000, he gave up Jeter’s 917th career hit, which was a leadoff hit in the sixth inning of an 11-1 Yankee victory.

    Jim Mecir was a teammate during the 1996 season but wound up on Tampa Bay in the expansion draft. Although July 22, 2000 was a 12-4 win for Mecir, he did give up Jeter’s 919th career hit, an RBI single in the seventh that made it a one-run game.

    David Cone was Jeter’s teammate from 1995-2000 but in his last season he was 4-14 and the Yankees let him go. So he wound up with the Red Sox and his second start for Boston happened to be May 23, 2001 in Yankee Stadium and that night Jeter had his first career five-hit game. Three of those hits were off Cone, who gave up a double in the first inning and base hits in the third and fifth, accounting for hits number 1,060-1,062.

    CC Sabathia has won 52 times as Jeter’s teammate. Eight years before joining forces on the Yankees, he was a prized rookie for the Indians and on May 26, could not get past the fifth. Jeter had three hits in a 12-5 and the first was a base hit in the third, accounting for hit number 1,066.

    Hideki Irabu was a 12-game winner for the 1998 Yankees, endured the wrath of George Steinbrenner’s mouth in spring training 1999 and was traded for Ted Lilly. On June 13, 2001 he pitched for the Expos and that was the last of his three starts that season as he allowed Jeter’s 1,078th career hit, a double in the first inning.

    If you don’t recall Josh Towers, chances are you are not alone but he made two relief appearances in Sept. 2009. Eight years earlier, he was a rookie for the Orioles and 8-10 on a dreadful team. When he gave up Jeter’s 1,105th career hit on July 5, 2001, it was a double in the first inning that preceded Bernie Williams’ two-run home run.

    Eight years before becoming a Yankee, A.J. Burnett pitched a no-hitter for the Marlins and two months afterwards, he faced Jeter. Burnett would face Jeter several times with Toronto but on July 12, 2001 he gave up three runs on two hits and five walks and was a 9-3 winner though one of the two hits was Jeter’s 1,110th, a third-inning single.

    Armando Benitez had about a two-week Yankee career when he was acquired from the Mets in July 2003 and traded to Seattle in August. About a year before, he gave up Jeter’s 1,279th hit, a game-tying RBI single in the ninth inning of a 4-2 10-inning Yankee victory at Shea on June 14, 2002.

    Similar to Benitez, Mark Wohlers had a short-lived Yankee of 31 games in 2001. A year later on July 2, 2002, Wohlers faced Jeter and allowed his 1,305th hit, a go-ahead single during a seven-run 10th inning during a 10-5 victory over the Indians.

    Chan Ho Park lasted slightly more than Benitez but not as long as Wohlers when he was a Yankee during 2010. Eight years earlier, he was pitching for the Rangers and on August 23, 2001, he gave up Jeter’s 1,355th hit which was a third-inning solo home run in a 6-2 Texas win.

    Ramiro Mendoza was part of the steady bullpens of 1998-2001 but by 2003 he was a Red Sox and on May 20, 2003 in Fenway Park Jeter notched his 1,403rd career hit, a game-tying single in the fifth inning of a 10-7 Yankee loss. Like Eric Hinske, Johnny Damon and Babe Ruth, he won championship rings with the Yankees and Red Sox.

    Brett Tomko had a brief stint with the Yankees during 2009. Six years before he was a starter for the Cardinals and on June 14, 2003 he had to relieve Matt Morris who could only get two outs. That day during a 5 1/3 inning relief stint, he gave up Jeter’s 1423rd and 1424th hit. The first hit of a 13-4 Yankee win was an RBI double for the first run of a four-run second inning. The second hit was a routine single to right field.

    Graeme Lloyd is remembered for his outstanding relief during 1996-1998. He also was included in the 1999 trade for Roger Clemens but four years later he was a Met on a 96-loss team and on the night of June 22, he allowed Jeter’s 1431st hit, which was a 10th-inning single of a 7-3 Yankee win that reached extra innings when Benitez walked four in the ninth.

    Jake Westbrook pitched very briefly in June 2000 before being included in the David Justice trade. Remarkably he remained in Cleveland until last summer’s trade to the Cardinals and three years into his Indians’ tenure on July 20, 2003; he gave up Jeter’s 1467th and 1468th hits, which were a single in the first and a double in the fifth of a 7-4 Yankee win.

    Rafael Soriano’s big contract was based on the 45 saves he had last year for Tampa Bay. Seven years before cashing in, he was 63 appearances into a career that began with Seattle in 2002. On August 8, 2003, he relieved Ryan Franklin and gave up Jeter’s 1,491st hit, which was a sixth-inning base hit during a five-run sixth that saw all the runs go unearned because of a Mark McLemore error.

    You are forgiven if you don’t recall Darrell May but the evidence shows that the final two of his 161 career appearances were for the Yankees in July 2005. Two years earlier he was a respectable 10-8 for the only winning Royals’ team since the 1994 strike but on August 12, 2003, he was a 6-0 loser and that included allowing Jeter’s 1,496th hit, which was an RBI single in the third inning.

    Jason Grimsley was a Yankee in 1999-2000 and three years was plying his craft for the Royals. On August 18, 2003, he was responsible for Jeter’s 1,505th career hit, which was a leadoff single in the eighth of an 11-6 Yankee win.

    Like May, Alan Embree pitched briefly during the summer of 2005 for the Yankees. Their quest for pitching was so encompassing that they even were willing to sign the pitcher responsible for making the final out of the 2004 ALCS. A year before that moment, Embree was in Grady Little’s bullpen. On August 30, 2003, he gave up Jeter’s 1,518th hit, a double in the eighth inning of a 10-7 Yankee win.

    Keeping with the 2005 theme, Buddy Groom also pitched here, doing so for 24 games with an ERA of 4.91. Two years before joining the Yankees, he faced Jeter in the first game of a doubleheader on Sept. 26, 2003 and the result was hit number 1,543, a leadoff double in the seventh of an 11-2 win.

    Before he was acquired twice by Brian Cashman, Chad Gaudin was a reliever for the 2004 Rays. On April 7, 2004 he faced Jeter and allowed hit number 1,549, which was an eighth-inning double in a 3-2 Yankee win.

    Ron Villone made 717 appearances for 11 teams and 107 were for the Yankees in 2006-2007. Two years before joining the Yankees, Villone was in his last year making occasional starting appearances and on August 13, 2004, he gave up hits number 1,675 and 1,676 while allowing eight runs and 10 hits. The first hit was a leadoff single in the third inning and the second hit was a double in the fourth when the Yankees went up 10-0.

    The 2002 Jeff Weaver trade was mentioned and one of the moving players was Ted Lilly. Three years later, Lilly was a Blue Jay and on May 1, 2005 he gave up Jeter’s 1,766th hit, which was a fifth-inning single during a four-run fifth. That gave the Yankees a 6-3 lead but when they walked off the field with an 8-6 loss - that set in motion the promotion of Robinson Cano from the minors.

    Kyle Farnsworth was a Yankee from 2006-2008 and was not really good during his three seasons until 2008 which was when he was flipped to Detroit for Ivan Rodriguez. A year before becoming a Yankee, Farnsworth was a Tiger and on May 26, 2005, he gave up Jeter’s 1790th hit, which was an eighth-inning single in a 4-3 Yankee win.

    Joe Borowski was a Yankee for nine relief appearances in 1997 and 1998. He also has given up two notable grand slams to Yankees in odd-numbered years for the Cubs and Indians. One was Jeter’s 1,811th career hit on June 18, 2005, which also was his first and only grand slam in the fifth sixth inning of an 8-1 win.

    Bob Wickman was part of the 1992 deal that sent Steve Sax to the White Sox. A year later while Jeter was in his first full year of pro ball, Wickman was a Yankee starter who opened with eight straight wins. Three years later Wickman moved to the bullpen and then Milwaukee but nine years after leaving the Yankees, he was closing games for the Indians and on July 9, 2005, he gave up Jeter’s 1,838th career hit which was a bunt single during an 8-7 Indians’ win.

    Seven years after bursting on the scene, “El Duque” was in the process of winning a ring for the White Sox. On August 20, 2005, he gave hit number 1882, which was a fourth inning single that led off a three-run inning of a 6-0 Yankee win.

    In that same game as above, 2007 Yankee Luis Vizcaino gave up hit number 1883. That hit was a ninth-inning single with the game already decided. You might remember Vizcaino as being part of the 2007 Randy Johnson that sent him back to Arizona.

    On the same day Boston shifted the makeup of its 2004 roster, the Yankees traded disappointing Jose Contreras to the White Sox for Loaiza, a 21-game winner the year before. It seemed like a logical move but Contreras was a 15-game winner during 2005 and Loaiza was in Washington. On August 21, 2005, he allowed 11 hits but just two runs. Two of those hits were to Jeter, who singled in the third and fifth for hits number 1,884 and 1,885.

    Todd Williams won’t have his own day at the Stadium but he was a Yankee for 15 games in 2001. After allowing five runs in Detroit on July 18, he did not make another major league appearance until July 21, 2004 for the Orioles. Fourteen months later on September 28, 2005, he was making his 70th appearance for Baltimore and in the seventh inning, he gave up hit number 1,932, which was the go-ahead single in a 2-1 win.

    Brad Halsey became Jeter’s teammate when the Yankees needed a starting pitcher in June 2004. Eight appearances and a 6.47 ERA were all the Yankees saw because they included him the Randy Johnson deal. After being dealt for Johnson, Halsey wound up with Oakland and made seven starts. One was May 13, 2006 when he allowed four runs in 4 1/3 innings and that included giving up hit number 1,981, which was a leadoff home run in the third inning.

    Bret Prinz appeared in 26 games for the Yankees in 2004 with a respectable 3.00 ERA but three years later he was the final week of his major league career and on June 7, 2007 with the White Sox, he gave up Jeter’s 2,227th hit which was a ninth-inning single during a six-run inning of Joe Torre’s 2,000th career victory.

    Shawn Chacon was a godsend in the summer of 2005 but when he pitched to a 7.00 ERA in 2006, he was sent to the Pirates for Craig Wilson. The rest of Chacon’s career did not end well and on June 10, 2007 he gave up Jeter’s 2,231 career hit, which was a base hit in an inning that gave the Yankees an 8-6 lead.

    Dustin Moseley was a spot starter/reliever for the 2010 Yankees and now is in San Diego. Three years before becoming a Yankee, he gave up Jeter’s 2,266th hit during a wild 14-9 Yankee win. The hit was an RBI single in the eighth inning that gave the Yankees a 14-9 lead.

    Boone Logan joined the Yankees in the same deal that included Javier Vazquez and made more of a contribution than Vazquez. Two years before joining forces with Jeter he gave up number 2,375 which was a ninth-inning single in a 7-6 White Sox victory.

    Billy Traber was one of 27 Yankee pitchers in 2008 and in 2009 he was one of 24 hurlers used by the Red Sox. The night of August 6, 2009 was his only Red Sox appearance and last major league appearance and probably the reason was he allowed five runs and nine hits in 3 2/3 innings reliving John Smoltz. One hit was number 2,671 for Jeter, who had an RBI single in the sixth of a 13-6 win.

    Kerry Wood holds the distinction of being the last Jeter teammate to allow a hit and that happened on May 29, 2010 in a wild 13-11 Cleveland win. Wood was called on for the save and, after balking Curtis Granderson to second, he gave up Jeter’s RBI double, which was hit number 2,810.

    0 (0 Ratings)

    A lifetime of Jeter hits

    Monday, July 11, 2011, 1:40 AM [General]

    Seventeen seasons is a long time and a lot can happen in that span. Some of us can go from being in the 10th grade to graduating college, to getting their first full-time job, seeing it move and making adjustments due to circumstances beyond our control.

    Along that span, you might even get a chance to see a Yankee game or two or a few hundred in person from the stands or from somewhere else in the stadium. Along the way, you might travel occasionally to a few other venues within your own city or somewhere in the Pacific Time Zone.

    Wherever you’ve seen the Yankees, chances are you’ve seen Derek Jeter play and get a hit, especially since he has 3,004 of those.  With the internet, you can combine having a good memory to figure out how many hits you’ve seen in person but thanks to the list compiled by the Yankee public relations, it’s pretty easy so by determination I’ve 654 of Jeter’s hits in person, which accounts for a little more than 20 percent and in case you’re wondering what I mean, keep reading.

    8 – The first time I saw Jeter in person, the Yankees struggled to draw following the strike and on June 7, 1995, I was there for Jeter’s eighth career hit, a two-out infield single to shortstop Mike Bordick. Jeter was 1-for-3 that night and those who had free tickets courtesy of the Daily News, watched Andy Pettitte’s first career victory. Pettitte was there because Buck Showalter’s last pitching staff for the Yankees was riddled with injuries to the likes of Jimmy Key and Melido Perez.

    58-59 – The next time I saw Jeter get a hit was nearly a year later in an otherwise forgettable 12-7 loss to Toronto. It was not that forgettable for Jeter though as his 58th hit was a solo home run of Pat Hentgen and that went down as his first Yankee Stadium home run. Jeter then had hit 59 with an infield single to Domingo Cedeno, so this was the first multi-hit game seen in person.

    453 – When you get so many hits, you get some off so many types of pitchers from the superstar to those whose taste of the majors is brief. On May 28, 1998 Brian Barkley made the first of his six career appearances for the Red Sox and the second of 16 hits allowed was a single to left by Jeter in the eighth inning.

    465 – One of the weird things about interleague play is how it tests certain people’s rooting interest. By now, you know Met fans would never root for the Yankees but on June 23, 1998 what if your team was 8 ½ games behind the Braves, who were in the Bronx that night, what team do you cheer for? The person I was with couldn’t quite get over this and rooted for the Braves during their 7-2 victory while booing when Jeter hit a solo home run off Tom Glavine.

    470 – Five days later was the first time I saw a Met-Yankee game in person, so I saw Jeter’s career exploits in the "Subway Series" for the first time. Jeter had a sixth inning single in a 2-1 game that was decided in the bottom of the ninth on a sacrifice fly and games like this eventually led to six meetings between the teams.

    536-537 – By mid-August the Yankees were cruising towards their 90th victory and on August 6, 1998, they reached it in style with a Bernie Williams upper deck shot in the ninth off Xavier Hernandez. Jeter had a hand in the 6-5 victory with three hits, including a two-run home run in the first off future teammate Esteban Loaiza.

    628-630 – A 10-1 game in early-May can be a routine affair especially in rainy weather except this night Jeter had a five-RBI night with three coming on a three-run home run off Seattle’s Mac Suzuki and that made Hideki Irabu a winner, especially when Jeter also had a two-run single off a pitcher named Eric Weaver in this May 7, 1999 game.

    685-686 – Four years after giving up the first hit, Tim Belcher had moved on to the Angels and in a 4-2 victory he gave up five hits in eight innings with one being a single to Jeter. Jeter also had another hit off Troy Percival that loaded the bases in the ninth but nothing developed out of it on June 20, 1999.

    1060-1064 – Jeter has three five-hit regular season games and this was the first on May 23, 2001. It was a few days after graduating college and during the mini-break I had set for myself and working for SportsTicker in Jersey City. That night David Cone returned as a Red Sox and Jeter’s night began with a first-inning double to right field. In the third he singled and did so again in the fifth. In the seventh, he took care of the home run by going deep against Tim Wakefield and in the eighth he reached on an infield single against Rod Beck.

    1092 – June 26, 2001 – There’s nothing really memorable about a June loss to the Indians except when it’s the first time you stepped into a major league press box, doing so on a day off to earn a little extra money. Other than having one of those day of game passes and doing pitch-by-pitch over the phone, I don’t remember much, not even Jeter’s single in the first off Charles Nagy. All I remember is reading some of the quotes that appeared in the story over the phone.

    You get the idea, this list could go on and go past the 3,000 words that Joe Posnanski wrote for Sports Illustrated, so this is some of the cliff notes version or the one that won’t keep someone up to 4 AM compiling it.

    Obviously everyone else remembers hits for various reasons such a games attended with best friends, girlfriends/boyfriends, parents. The more notable ones have been documented all over the place, but 17 years worth of hits is a lifetime for some, half a lifetime for others and a significant part of watching and following baseball in New York for the last two decades.

    Starting with the 2005 season, I became more of a regular at the stadium, especially in the part that gets you access to the clubhouse. It was a good way to do something on the side and meet numerous people along the way while Jeter is getting hits in front of your eyes and ears.

    While keeping score of hundreds of Yankee games, I’ve seen things such as hit number 2,000, a little knubber down in front of the catcher (Paul Bako) that was ruled one-and-one (a hit and error). It was ruled that way because the field was wet; Bako rushed his throw to beat a hustling Jeter. The only thing that could have spoiled to moment was a loss and that’s what happened when the Royals wound up with a 7-6 win that was one of several Friday games delayed by rain.

    "A hit’s a hit," Jeter said that night. "But we should have won this game. We let a couple of opportunities get away.

    "You appreciate the fans and their reaction, but at the time we were losing. The percentages were on their side to win,"

    A month later on June 25, 2006, Jeter had hits 2,026 and 2,027 off a rookie named Anibal Sanchez in the second game of a Sunday day-night doubleheader against the Marlins. Joe Girardi managed the Marlins that night and saw Sanchez allow two hits to Jeter, one extra-base hit in front of 6,809 fans.

    "This was like my dream," Sanchez said that night. "All the time when I was a little kid, I dreamed about pitching in Yankee Stadium. That was a great opportunity the Marlins gave me."

    Various circumstances bring people chances to see these hits, whether you’re one of the pitchers giving them up, one of the people writing about it or one of the people sitting in the stands. People dream about seeing it in some capacity and Sanchez’s words that night speak to that.

    Of course any Jeter-related piece would be unwise to neglect his contributions in moments of others such as Mariano Rivera. Rivera went from 400 to 500 saves in a span of slightly under three years. The 400th save was July 16, 2006 and Jeter helped the cause with a first-inning home run off current teammate Freddy Garcia, which was hit number 2,052 during a season that Jeter batted .342

    Number 500 was June 28, 2009 at Citi Field and despite battling a cold most of the weekend and not playing the previous two days, Jeter couldn’t miss this and he helped Rivera with a base hit in the first inning off Livan Hernandez during a three-run first inning that was hit 2,624 during a year Jeter batted .334.

    "He’s the definition of consistency,".

    Those were some of Jeter’s words that night about Rivera. And Saturday after his 5-for-5 performance put him over 3,000 hits, those were some of the words coming from Rivera and others as people tried to define the significance of the milestone in a year that has generated so much chatter and content for the wrong reasons and the kind that make you want to turn the radio to FM and turn off the internet sometimes.

    It is not easy to stand in there and face the array of pitches coming from 60 feet away. It is not easy to try and guess the next pitch but 3,004 times Jeter has guessed correctly or at least gotten enough of his bat on pitches and because of that, he has joined a club with 28 members out of thousands of people who have tried to do the same on the major league level.

    Follow Larry Fleisher on twitter: @larryfleisher

    0 (0 Ratings)

    Page 2 of 37  •  Prev 1 2 3 4 5 6 ... 37 Next

Blog Categories