If you haven’t heard by now, Derek Jeter tied Lou Gehrig for the all time hits record as a Yankee tonight.
Jeter started the night with a bunt single to end an 0-12 skid, and then the hits came after that: a ground ruled double that BJ Upton probably had a play one (not that we’re complaining) and a “Jeterian” single to the right side that tied the record.
After that hit, as you might expect, Yankee Stadium gave Jeter a tremendous ovation, and the Tampa Bay Rays applauded as well.
For someone that grew up a Yankee fan, tonight’s got to be a pretty cool thing.
Now, about the game…
Tonight’s game started as many a Joba Chamberlain 2009 start has: with much frustration and, well, frustration.
Chamberlain allowed a lead-off home run in the first inning and went on to throw over 30 pitches in that inning. He looked, again, tentative and uncomfortable–and given that he seemed to respond to a tongue-lashing from his teammates, it seems the only one to blame here is Chamberlain himself.
Chamberlain recovered and was excellent in the second and third innings, but he threw too many pitches and Alfredo Aceves was again called in to piggyback and provide long relief.
It should be mentioned here that the Yankee bullpen was stellar: the first inning was the only one in which the Rays scored, and also the only inning in which they had a base hit.
Aceves, Jonathan Albaladejo, Brian Bruney and Phil Coke combined to provide excellent relief, and give the Yankees the chance they needed to win.
The Yankee offense didn’t do much of anything until after Jeter tied Gehrig’s record–make of that what you will–but they scored four in the bottom of the eighth, including three on a Jorge Posada pinch-hit home run.
The Yankees sweep of the Tampa Rays did more than just reduce the Yankees magic number to 14th; it all but squashed Tampa’s postseason hopes.
At the start of the year, many analysts had picked the AL East to be a dogfight, but on September 9th, the Yankees have 91 wins and have effectively run-and-hid from everyone else.
Derek Jeter would like that.
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