Derek Jeter’s pursuit of No. 3,000 is casting a large shadow, obscuring the fact that the Yankees have dropped four of five and have fallen out of first, now trailing the Red Sox by a half game.
Jeter, the consummate win-first, team-first guy, said the mini skid is taking away something from the chase.
“Yeah, it is,” Jeter said. “We’ve been facing some tough pitchers these last few days. Guys step up when they play us, and especially there in Cleveland, a couple guys we’ve faced, they hadn’t thrown the ball well all year. And it doesn’t get any easier with Tampa. We’re playing two tough teams since I’ve been back, and hopefully (Friday) we can come out and score a few more runs.”
Joe Girardi doesn’t feel the 3,000 hoopla has been a distraction to his players.
“I think the guys are going about their business,” Girardi said.
Alex Rodriguez has gone 85 at-bats now without a homer, the longest single-season stretch in his career. He has sent up just 13, although he is batting .295 with 52 RBI. A-Rod turns 36 in 19 days.