This is the way Derek Jeter explained his unexpected arrival in the Bronx.
Got the call from Brian Cashman around 11 last night. He’d been fully expecting to play one more Triple-A game, so he had to go to the hotel and pack. Then he had to wait for his equipment bag to be delivered from PNC Field. Got a ride to New York, arriving in Manhattan around 2:30 or 3. Finally fell asleep at 4, only to wake up at 6:30 because he’s completely adjusted to a morning rehab schedule.
“Couldn’t fall back asleep,” he said. “Then I came over here and it was pretty much right to the stadium and getting ready to play. Everything happened kind of quickly for me. Before you know it, you’re on the field and playing.”
We might have to wait until tomorrow to find out whether Derek Jeter’s tight quadriceps is a significant issue. If it is, it will open a series of questions about whether Jeter was rushed into the lineup before he was ready. Does a 39-year-old coming off a serious injury have to approach things differently, take extra time and be extra cautious?
“(Age) never crosses my mind,” Jeter said. “My ankle broke. I don’t think it broke because I was 38; I think it broke because I continued to play on something that maybe I shouldn’t have. I don’t think age had anything to do with that.”
Was today’s game an example of Jeter playing on something he shouldn’t have? If he hurries back from this quad situation, will he be playing on something he shouldn’t?
“You can’t trick the tests,” he said. “See what the test says. Last year I didn’t have to take the test. No, that’s not true. Actually we did take the test originally because it was a bone bruise. Then after that, I always play. We’ll get an MRI, and if it’s all good, then I’ll play.”
• Dave Robertson finished behind Steve Delabar in the final vote to fill the American League All-Star roster. Robertson’s hashtag #HighSocksForVotes was actually more popular than Delabar’s #RaiseTheBar, but Delabar finished with more votes overall.
• This will shock you: Andy Pettitte seemed legitimately disgusted with himself. “If y’all have been interviewing me for every start for the last six, seven weeks, it’s been the same story,” he said. “It’s a grind right now for me. I don’t feel like I’ve been making horrible pitches, if I was, the ball would be flying out of the ballpark like crazy, and that’s not happening. It’s just a tough go of it right now. … You’re just in trouble again right off the bat. I need to figure out something in these first innings where I can get some outs, and not just be out there grinding the first couple innings of a ballgame.”
• Looking for specifics, Pettitte continues to struggle with bunts, and it’s driving him crazy. “I know one thing, there’s been a lot of balls getting down there on the ground on bunts that are causing me a lot of problems,” he said. “I think it’s the third time in the last five, six starts that the leadoff guy gets on and the second guy bunts him over. … I can’t get over there, because they’re push-bunting it, and they’re going to beat me over there. Me and Lyle and Robbie have got to figure something out. I think they’re trying to get runs early in the game, they know they’ve got a good pitcher over there, they get a guy in scoring position, they’re feeling good. I’m sure a lot of people are seeing that we’re struggling with that right now.”
• To be fair, Pettitte did settle in pretty well after that three-run first. “My pre-work before the game today was as good as it’s been all year,” he said. “I felt so good going out there, and I felt so good trusting it, and you have a bad first inning and you just want to throw your arms up in the air and scratch your head.”
• Despite Pettitte ripping himself throughout his postgame interviews, Joe Girardi actually seemed pleased. “I thought he threw the ball pretty well, actually,” Girardi said. “We don’t make the bunt play in the first, we don’t make the bunt play in the next inning, and it just led to some runs today against him. He probably would have given up one earned run in almost the sixth inning, then you look at his line a little bit different. But we weren’t able to make the plays on the bunts, which cost him a few runs.”
• Behind Pettitte, the Yankees scored eight runs for a second straight game. It’s their first time having at least eight runs in back-to-back home games since September 22-24, 2011.
• Seven Yankees had an RBI today. I don’t have anything to add, it just seems like a lot.
• Lyle Overbay has 10 RBI in 10 at-bats with the bases loaded this season. His go-ahead, two-out, two-run single was the big hit of the game.
• Big catch by Ichiro Suzuki today. “It was great, a great catch,” Pettitte said. “I knew the ball was hit well, he knew it was hit well, and he didn’t drift on it – he just took off, went straight back for it, and that was the key right there, to get back there quick. That was big.”
• Jeter has now played in 19 different seasons with the Yankees, passing Yogi Berra and Mickey Mantle and tying Mariano Rivera for the most in franchise history.
• We’ll give the final word to Pettitte: “I’m not too sentimental or nostalgic, but it’s great to have Derek Jeter back in the lineup, great to see him in the dugout. Just love having him back out there.”
Associated Press photos