The Yankees lost 1-0 to the Indians, and I’m blaming Derek Jeter.
After loading the bases in the first inning with nobody out, the Yankees failed to score. Cashing in those runs would have really put the reeling Indians on the ropes and likely led to victory. Why didn’t they score? Alex Rodriguez hit a medium length fly ball, but Derek Jeter hesitated and did not run. I can’t figure out why he didn’t score, and I’m kind of obsessed to find out why. And since they lost 1-0, and this was their best chance to score, what the hell, let’s figure it out.
Alex skied the ball to center, so Derek had plenty of time to find the ball, find Brantley, the center fielder, and get back to the bag to tag up. Replays show his foot on the bag in plenty of time to run. He broke hard for a few steps and pulled up, so his intention was to bluff and draw a throw. A terrible play for sure, but why? Brantley never had any intention of throwing home; he was going to let Jeter score and throw to third base. He was as surprised as I was when Derek pulled up short. Derek would have scored standing up.
Did he think Brantley had an amazing arm? Brantley certainly didn’t think Brantley had an amazing arm, since he wasn’t even going to throw the ball. Perhaps a bad scouting report? Probably not, since this is the fourth game of this series and they’ve seen the guy throw. Did he think the ball wasn’t deep enough? The ball was in the air forever. Its path was clear, and it was obviously deep enough. This wasn’t a tough read. Was he injured? He did leave later in the game with a calf injury, but if he was injured, I doubt he would have bluffed as he did. Was he being uber-conservative because there were no outs and Cano was on deck? That sounds a little more likely, but stupid nonetheless. You take the sure run every time.
Or maybe he’s an old player, easing his way into the early part of the game, not yet fully engaged and not ready to wrap his arms around the play as used to be his custom? Maybe he wasn’t ready to sprint. Maybe he hadn’t checked the outfielder’s depth. Maybe he wasn’t mentally prepared to make all the quick calculations that he needs to make to execute the seemingly simple play.
I still don’t know why he didn’t run. But I do know this: if winning is all you give a shit about, and scoring a run is on your mind the moment you get on base, there’s no way you don’t score there. There’s no way rookie Derek Jeter doesn’t score there. There’s no way 2009 Derek Jeter doesn’t score there. In 2011 though, he didn’t score and they didn’t win. He did share a laugh with the third base coach after he failed to score. I’d rip Cano for the same thing, so I formally announce a ripping here for Jeter. The baseball gods agree; they struck him down with that calf injury later.
Ah hell, OK, I made too much of that one stupid play, but it’s another agonizing game and this ended up being the deciding inning. I’m at a loss with this team and their inability to take what’s given to them. And to see it from Jeter is just so surprising. I thought his skills were gone, but that his mind was still there, still attacking the game the same way, but it’s probably not.
Losing like this just sucks the air out of the room.
If you want, we can do a similar breakdown of Brett Gardner’s bunt-out in the seventh. … On second thought, let’s just forget about that one.
A.J. Burnett was great in the loss. I’ve had AJ in two 1-0 losses and a 2-0 loss, and in a whole bunch of other losses too. I wouldn’t mind a Nova game. Or even an A.J. win. Teixeira hit it to the warning track in the eighth, but it never looked like a homer to me. It was a long out all the way. And then I think Bob Feller crawled out of his grave and struck out the side in the ninth.
Derek Jeter might miss some time. He already had no chance to get his 3000th hit on this homestand. If he sits out at least six of the next nine games, he will get it on the next homestand. So those of you who are trying to see it live in Yankee Stadium, there is some hope. I think if he plays straight through, he’ll get it next Monday in Cincinnati. And if he takes a week off, he’ll get it Wednesday June 29th at home versus Milwaukee.
Picture By The Daily News