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Postgame notes: “There were some guys laughing”

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Misc on Apr 07, 2014 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

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Derek Jeter has yanked a lot of fly balls down the left-field line at Yankee Stadium. By now, he has a pretty good idea which ones are going out, which ones are going foul and which ones are going off the wall. Today, he thought wrong.

“When I hit it, I thought it was a home run,” Jeter said. “Then I thought it was going to go foul. Next thing you know, it ricocheted right to the left fielder so I had to pick up the pace a little bit. There were some guys laughing — until a couple of them hit some balls and the wind got them, too.”

Off the bat, it seemed all of Yankee Stadium thought – or at least hoped – that Jeter’s fifth-inning double was going out. Would have been perfect, right? A home run in the Captain’s final home opener? Even Jeter, the guy with the reputation of always playing hard, took it easy jogging out of the box and didn’t really turn on the speed until he was almost to first base.

Derek JeterBut when your legacy and reputation are secure – and when you’ve avoided a would-have-been-embarrassing out — it’s a little easier to laugh afterward.

“I decided to test to make sure that my legs were still good,” Jeter said. “So I waited a little bit and then picked up the speed when I needed to just to show that my legs were good. Almost like it was an audition. Look, maybe you get caught up in Opening Day. I thought it was a home run. I hit it good enough to be one, and it just wasn’t. It didn’t go out. You probably haven’t seen it and you probably won’t see it again. What can you do? I was safe. It would be a lot more embarrassing if I was out, but I did make it, so I’m fine with it.”

Joe Girardi said there were plenty of guys giving Jeter a hard time on the bench.

“Listen, we’ve all done it,” Mark Teixeira said. “For Derek at 40, we’re going to let him slide. He’s an old man.”

That old man wrapped up his final home opener with a win, and that seemed to be all that mattered to Jeter. He seemed loose and happy. Have to believe this was the first time in at least a year and a half that he played a game at Yankee Stadium feeling fully healthy.

His old friends were in town. The crowd gave him several standing ovations. He said his only advice from his parents was to have fun and get some hits.

“It felt good,” Jeter said. “I think (feeling healthy) is why I was so excited. I was excited to be out there regardless of whether it was the home opener. It’s been such a long time before I’ve been out there feeling good. I don’t want to jinx anything, but it felt really good. It felt like maybe my first home opener. It was a fun time for me.

“… I really missed it last year. Sometimes you don’t realize it until you get back out on the field. Home openers are special here at Yankee Stadium.”

Hirokli Kuroda· After Hiroki Kuroda’s strong start this afternoon, the Yankees have now gone almost a full turn through the rotation without a walk. Their past four starters have not walked anyone. Those four – Kuroda, CC Sabathia, Michael Pineda and Masahiro Tanaka – have combined for 23 strikeouts in 25.1 innings.

· Kuroda allowed just two runs through 6.1 innings, but he said he didn’t feel especially sharp. “I thought my movement on my two-seamers weren’t as sharp, and the slider as well, didn’t break that much,” he said. “I was trying to be patient and make sure that I keep the ball down and not to walk anybody. That was it.”

· Today’s save was the first of Shawn Kelley’s career. Could be the answer to a trivia question: Who was the first pitcher to save a game at Yankee Stadium after Mariano Rivera retired? “Oh gosh, no, I didn’t even think about that until you said that,” Kelley said. “Gosh, it’s good that I didn’t blow it. He was here. He would have been mad at me.

· Nervous in the ninth? “There were some butterflies, I think, because it’s my first one,” Kelley said. “It’s my first opportunity even to save a game in the ninth. But once I threw the first pitch, it was back to normal business – and, huh, after that I don’t even remember what happened.”

· Dave Robertson has only gone on the disabled list one other time, and that was the last time he was handed the ninth-inning (after the Rivera injury in 2012). “Every time I get the chance, something just stops me from it,” Robertson said. “But I’ll get healthy. I’ll get back.”

Adam Warren· With Kelley likely moving into the ninth inning, it seems Adam Warren could get the bulk of the eighth-inning setup opportunities. He’s become a go-to late-inning option already this season. Today he struck out Adam Jones with a 95-mph fastball, then he got Chris Davis looking at a good slider. “Today is the first time he went back to back this year, but I liked what I saw,” Girardi said. “I was encouraged by it at the end of last year.”

· Warren on the feeling coming into the eighth today: “I definitely felt like I had more energy today, and it’s kind of a neat feeling. Just that little bit of extra energy, and then the crowd starts getting excited. It definitely gets you more adrenaline, and you get a little more amped up for it.”

· Big out for David Phelps as well, especially coming off some rocky outings that included three home runs. “I hope (Girardi) has confidence in me,” Phelps said. “I’d like to think that a small sample size wouldn’t have completely blown it. I know that I have to make pitches, and these first couple of outings I haven’t. Today I was able to, and we got the results.”

· By the way, the other bullpen guys call Warren “Rocket” and won’t say why. Warren just laughs when he’s asked about it.

Mariano Rivera, Derek Jeter· Jeter on the crowd’s ovation for his first at-bat: “I’ve gotten some pretty good ovations throughout the years. I’m really not trying to think about these things while I’m playing. I’m trying to think about what my job is. But that affected me and that’s why I struck out.” Good one.

· Couple of comments from Brian McCann that you might enjoy. First, on his first home opener as a Yankee: “It’s something I’ve been thinking about since I signed here. Today was a special day for me, all around. To see the facilities, put on the pinstripes, it was special. … It was everything I thought it would be. First class all the way. The whole thing, it’s hard to comprehend as a player, coming here from another organization.”

· And here’s McCann on Jeter: “He’s great. He’s cool, calm, collected, no matter what situation he’s in. I got to watch him from a distance, and now to be a part of it today, he’s as professional as they come.”

· And of course the final word goes to Jeter himself: “It’s kind of tough for me to be reflective on something that’s at the beginning of the season. It’s my last home opener, but it’s the first game here this year. It’s kind of hard for me to juggle having emptions for the last when it’s also at the same time the first – if that makes any sense. Home openers are special. I’m pretty sure next year when they have their home opener, I’ll miss it a little bit. I’m excited that we’ve gotten the season underway here, so today was just more excitement than anything.”

Associated Press photos

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24 Responses to “Postgame notes: “There were some guys laughing””

  1. CountryClub April 7th, 2014 at 8:57 pm

    Good win this afternoon. And now it’s time for Uconn to get #4.

  2. MTU April 7th, 2014 at 9:08 pm

    Looking forward to the next 3 games.

    Nova, Tanaka, Pineda.

    :)

  3. rr212 April 7th, 2014 at 9:15 pm

    I’d like to see Uconn win, but as a Yanks fan, may have to root for Kentucky. I think you all know why. Any guesses?

  4. MTU April 7th, 2014 at 9:17 pm

    Baltimore is an excellent test for our SP.

    You shut them down and you know you have done really well.

    Same is true of Boston.

  5. MTU April 7th, 2014 at 9:19 pm

    Got to love a pitching staff that throws strikes.

    I really hate issuing free passes.

    Let them beat you.

    Don’t help them out.

  6. Cashmoney April 7th, 2014 at 9:20 pm

    15 days without Drob, let’s see how this bp will handle it.

  7. j9d April 7th, 2014 at 9:21 pm

    rr212 April 7th, 2014 at 9:15 pm
    I’d like to see Uconn win, but as a Yanks fan, may have to root for Kentucky. I think you all know why. Any guesses?
    —————————————-

    Yup several have mentioned correlation between UK championships and Yankees WS wims. Not buying it. Opposite George season.

  8. CountryClub April 7th, 2014 at 9:24 pm

    I’d like to see Uconn win, but as a Yanks fan, may have to root for Kentucky. I think you all know why. Any guesses?

    ———-

    Ky won in 11 and the yanks didn’t.

  9. blake April 7th, 2014 at 9:25 pm

    Josh Hamilton has a 1.443 oPS

  10. rr212 April 7th, 2014 at 9:33 pm

    Yeah, I don’t buy it either, but I’ll take any help there is. Napier and Boatwright are fun to watch.

  11. j9d April 7th, 2014 at 9:35 pm

    Agree

  12. MTU April 7th, 2014 at 9:36 pm

    Good night LoHud amigos.

    Time to turn to it over to Pat M. and the night crew.

    I’ll see you all for the Breakfast Club.

    :)

  13. Howler April 7th, 2014 at 9:36 pm

    unfortunately I wasn’t around to see the game today, and sorry they’re going to miss DRob…but lets just hope for some Yankee blow-out wins in the next two weeks and they won’t need him too much.

  14. Howler April 7th, 2014 at 9:37 pm

    Ahh..see I show up and you leave…something in the air…and it wasn’t my fault

  15. MTU April 7th, 2014 at 9:38 pm

    Sorry Howler.

    It’s been a long day.

    Catch you on the rebound.

  16. Howler April 7th, 2014 at 9:43 pm

    I was just popping in too…have to go to a club meeting…was playing lumberjack today getting rid of some trees that were threatening to take out dog pen fencing. So I know what you mean about a long day.

  17. chicken_stanley April 7th, 2014 at 9:48 pm

    Howler – the last time I played lumberjack, I popped a tendon in my elbow. Now, I leave the felling of trees to lightning and beavers! :)

  18. pete2 April 7th, 2014 at 9:52 pm

    D-Rob going down is not good, but Kelly looked pretty good. Tough schedule the next 2 weeks with 7 against the Red Sox and 4 against the Rays.

  19. exiledintampa April 7th, 2014 at 9:52 pm

    Don’t know the details but Matt Moore is out for Tampa.

  20. pete2 April 7th, 2014 at 10:08 pm

    I am thinking oblique or back with Moore. Didn’t seem to be an arm injury from the replay. They are calling it an upper body injury which is not that helpful

    Seems every team has their share of injuries this year

  21. ladylovespinstripes April 8th, 2014 at 2:11 am

    You said David Robertson has only been placed on the DL one time prior to the recent stint…but that is not true.

    D-Rob was placed on the DL in 2009, and was flown to see Dr. Andrews, which is never a good sign.

    The one time you are speaking about in 2012 was the same year he feel down the stairs carrying boxes in Tampa but because it was Spring Training there was no DL stint. He did miss most of ST, do you recall his walking boot?

    D-Rob is no stranger to being nicked ….remember last season when he missed time in May to get an MRI on his knee? Or in September, when he missed a week due to shoulder tendonitis?

    I was afraid this would happen and that is why I did not understand why the Yankees did not acquire some insurance for D-Rob. Not only for injury, but also in case he falters dbecause the moment he blows a save, Yankees fans will get mad and that could take a toll on him.

    Look, in 2010 without Rafael Soriano, the Yankees would have missed that postseason as well. Adding Grant Balfour or Fernando Rodney would have been smart.

    I do think D-Rob can do the job but a groin injury to a pitcher with such a long stride could haunt him for some time. Closer by committee for any longer than this 15-day DL stint could end up being what keeps the 2014 Yankees out of October again.

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