"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

Calfination, the Cubs, and History

Derek Jeter’s calf injury and ensuing DL trip definitely threw a wrench into his reaching the 3,000-hit milestone in the near future. Given Jeter’s flair for the dramatic and the way the Yankees hit Rangers pitching during the first two games, it would have been fun to see what could have been, especially at home.

Jeter’s two most recent milestones occurred at home. he benefited from home scoring when got his 2,000th on May 26, 2006 against the Kansas City Royals, and he broke Lou Gehrig’s franchise record for hits at home on September 11, 2009 against the Orioles.

Another thing that would have been cool: watching Jeter vie for history against the Cubs. Jeter has the most hits of anyone in interleague play, so in a way, it would have been fitting for him to reach 3K over the next batch of games. In addition, Saturday will mark six years to the day that Jeter launched the first and only grand slam of his career to date, a sixth inning shot off of Joe Borowski.

And there is precedent for the Yankees making history during interleague play. A banner year for this was 2003, when first, the Yankees were no-hit by six Houston Astros pitchers in the Bronx. Two nights later, Roger Clemens registered his 4,000th strikeout and 300th win against the Cardinals.

Clemens’ previous start, however, took place in Chicago, against Kerry Wood. It was Clemens’ third chance at 300. It was the marquee game in a series that marked the Yankees’ first visit to Wrigley Field since the 1932 World Series and Babe Ruth’s “called shot”. The Yankees beat Carlos Zambrano in the Friday afternoon opener, and the stage was set for the power matchup on Saturday. Clemens had an upper respiratory infection and there was doubt as to whether he would even start. He did, and he left the game in the seventh inning with a lead and two men on base, giving way to the immortal Juan Acevedo. Acevedo is immortal for what happened next. He delivered a first-pitch fastball to Eric Karros that was promptly returned to Waveland Avenue, and a 2-1 lead was suddenly a 4-2 deficit. That was the final. The following night, the Cubs chased Andy Pettitte after 1 2/3 innings and despite a valiant comeback effort against Mark Prior, it wasn’t enough.

Fast forward to today, where the Yankees head to Chicago coming off a three-game sweep of the Texas Rangers. They’re currently riding their sixth three-game win streak of the season. Only once, though, have they carried that streak past three. They’re not facing Big Z, Wood and Prior in succession; rather, it’s Doug Davis, Ryan Dempster, and Randy “Please don’t call me Boomer or Kip” Wells. With the Cubs struggling as badly as they are, this could be a weekend where the Yankees add to their winning percentage.

Sadly, no history to watch out for in this series. Only the moments to reflect upon. While the feeling of the games might be empty, at least the stands at Wrigley will be full.


1 Mattpat11   ~  Jun 17, 2011 9:23 am

I really think this particular set of interleague games (CHI, CIN, MIL, COL) show just how pointless interleague play has become. I mean seriously, ANY of these games is supposed to be some kind of exciting novelty?

And yet they still refuse to bring the Dodgers to the Bronx. But here come the Rockies!

2 Bronx Boy in NC   ~  Jun 17, 2011 9:37 am

I was in the bleachers for the first two of those 2003 Wrigley games. The highlight for me was seeing Boomer double into the LF corner. In my (no doubt gauzy) memory, the ball looked for a minute as if it could go out. Scary part was the next day when Kerry Wood crashed into Choi and he ended up leaving the field in an ambulance.

3 Just Fair   ~  Jun 17, 2011 10:05 am

My parents were in a Florida bar last spring and my mom saw some dude in a Cubs jersey. She is not exacatly a prude woman but told my dad she couldn't believe how offensive the guy's jersey was and that type of stuff should not be allowed. What was on the back, of course, was Fukudome. : )
My dad got a kick out of telling that one.

4 Sliced Bread   ~  Jun 17, 2011 10:39 am

1) I agree about the Rockies series, but Yanks at Wrigley is like Aretha at the Apollo. Doesn't matter what year it is, or who's in the band. You go - and I wish I was.

I'm kinda jazzed to see them in the Cincinnati setting as well.

5 RIYank   ~  Jun 17, 2011 10:59 am

I was just thinking what a shame it is that Gordon won't be pitching in Wrigley. Because I assume he can actually hit... wouldn't you think? Maybe we'll see in Cincinnati.

6 a.O   ~  Jun 17, 2011 11:01 am

[1] Yankees' interleague should definitely include LAD but I am excited about CHI and CIN too.

feed Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share via email
"This ain't football. We do this every day."
--Earl Weaver