Derek Jeter made no attempt to hide his overwhelming frustration. Probably couldn’t have masked it if he tried. Last night’s MRI showed a Grade 1 right calf strain, and although the Yankees haven’t said he’ll definitely go on the disabled list, it certainly seems possible.
“It’s been terrible,” Jeter said. “It’s been like a nightmare. The whole season has been a nightmare. I really don’t know what to tell you. I wish that wasn’t the case and we were sitting here talking about something besides another injury. We’ll see what happens. I have no idea.”
Jeter wants to play through it. He played through it three times in the past week, and it seems obvious that he can hardly stomach the idea of a third disabled list stint this season. He said he never felt any pain in the calf during Sunday’s game, but it was bothering when the team got to Los Angeles. He compared the feeling to that of a deep bruise, just kind of some steady soreness that he feels even when he’s not playing.
It seems logical that the problems with Jeter’s right leg are somehow tied to him compensating for his left ankle, but Jeter said he’s not so sure.
“I don’t know,” Jeter said. “All I can tell you about my ankle is that I don’t feel it. If I am doing it, it’s not something I’m conscious of. I don’t know, man. I don’t think it has anything to do with my ankle because my ankle feels good.”
Question is, how will the Yankees react?
“We’ll see how he is tomorrow and go from there,” Joe Girardi said. “I’m not so sure what we’re going to do just because of where we’re at this time of year.”
• Another bad one for Phil Hughes, who’s lost eight of his past 10 decisions since May 15. He has a 5.11 ERA in those starts, and has allowed five or more earned runs in five of those outings. “It’s been like a nightmare I can’t wake up from,” Hughes said. “It’s like a battle every time, even if I have a good start. It’s not easy. On a day like this, it’s really disappointing. I’m not going to stop working. I’ve got to fight to get out of this. It’s going to take work on the side. That’s all I can do.”
• There was little mystery to Hughes’ problems this afternoon. “He just didn’t make pitches when he had to,” Girardi said. “He got into some counts where he couldn’t put people away today. He had a check-swing that didn’t go his way. We didn’t make a double play. The bottom line is he didn’t make pitches when he had to. … There has to be improvement.”
• Although Girardi showed clear frustration, he said he does not “necessarily” consider Hughes’ rotation spot in jeopardy at this point. “Out of my hands,” Hughes said. “My concern is getting better, pitching better. Then I don’t really have to worry about it.”
• Curtis Granderson matched his career-high with three walks.
• Romine was also the only Yankees batter with two hits today. Since June 21, he’s hit .353 with some power. His season batting average is up to .213, which is more than twice what it was at the end of May. Going to be interesting to see if he gets more playing time going forward.
• As you might suspect, there was quite a bit of Alex Rodriguez talk in the postgame clubhouse. Most guys didn’t have much to say. Mariano Rivera seemed irritated to be asked about it, but most of the guys seem to stick with the idea of welcoming him back and waiting to see what happens. “(It will be) a bit of a circus I’m sure,” Vernon Wells said. “I think Alex will do his best to keep as much of it out of the clubhouse as he can, and what he has control over. I think the good thing is everyone knows the situation, knows what it could potentially be like, what the atmosphere’s going to be like, so there’s not fear of the unknown. I think we all have a pretty good idea, and we’ll be ready for it.”
• Final word goes to Girardi: “It’s frustrating. We had a chance to win the series here, and we didn’t do it. But we’ve got to do it. If we want to play in October, we’ve got to do it. … There’s still a lot of time, and some of the teams that are in front of us, we’re going to play. We’re going to play a lot, so you don’t want to beat yourself.”
Associated Press photos