There was some random speculation that Joe Girardi would sit Derek Jeter in tonight’s game against the Indians. Partially to rest him but — tin foil hats on please — also to make sure that he doesn’t get his 3000th hit on the road by going 4 for 4 or better.
Stop that. It could happen. He’s done it twice this year.
Anyway, Girardi has thrown caution to the wind and has Jeter in tonight’s lineup. Which, to be honest, I’m happy to see. Manipulating the playing time in order to ensure that a milestone is reached in front of the home crowd is weak sauce. I mean, even though everyone hates Bowie Kuhn and everyone loves Hank Aaron, I’m happy that Kuhn made the Braves play him on the road in early 1974. The game is greater than the records.
Unless Girardi and the Yankees seriously doubt Jeter’s ability to get four hits in an entire weekend series before the All-Star break, and are hoping he gets one or two tonight an in effort to make the home milestone more likely. The Yankees do open up the second half on an eight game road trip. How awkward would it be if, after a day off today, Jeter couldn’t get four hits in the four-game series against the Rays this weekend?
OK, I’ll stop now. This is turning into a Mobius strip or an M.C. Escher Infinite Staircase of a post. All about Jeter and 3000 hits.
I probably need to get out more.
Aaron Judge may be the talk of the town right now, but let’s not forget some of Major League Baseball’s more established sluggers. Take the Nationals’ Bryce Harper, for instance, who jumped on a full count during the first inning of Saturday’s game and postmarked the ball to the center field concourse in Chase Field.
Harper’s mammoth hit was the first career home run allowed by Diamondbacks’ rookie Anthony Banda. Banda quickly recovered with an inning-ending strikeout to Ryan Zimmerman, but was booted from his big league debut after Harper, Zimmerman and Anthony Rendon combined for a three-run spread in the sixth.
The first-inning homer also served another purpose: it extended Harper’s hitting streak to 15 games, the longest current streak in MLB this season. He’ll need four more games to tie the 19-game streak Royals’ infielder/outfielder Whit Merrifield established back in June.
The Nationals currently lead the Diamondbacks 4-2 in the bottom of the seventh inning.
Rangers’ right-hander Chi Chi Gonzalez is slated for Tommy John surgery, according to a report by Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News. Gonzalez was placed on the 60-day disabled list back in early April with a partial UCL tear and was working towards a throwing program before getting sidelined with more elbow pain. He’s expected to miss the entirety of the 2018 season while recovering from the surgery.
This is the second straight season that has been derailed for Gonzalez due to injury. The 25-year-old starter pitched just 10 1/3 innings in 2016 after recovering from a torn UCL, and was optioned to Triple-A Round Rock to finish out the year after compiling an 8.71 ERA, 7.8 BB/9 and 6.1 SO/9 in three starts with the club. He showed more promise in Triple-A with a 4.70 ERA, 2.9 BB/9 and 5.9 SO/9 through 24 starts and 138 innings.
It’s a tough blow for the Rangers, who have seen Gonzalez healthy in just one major league season to date. General manager Jon Daniels told reporters that a recent MRI showed signs of weakening in the ligament, which disrupted the team’s plans to have the right-hander stick to a six- to eight-week recovery timetable after getting a platelet-rich plasma injection (via Stefan Stevenson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram). The surgery is expected to take place next week and will put Gonzalez’s earliest return date sometime in September 2018.