Derek Jeter’s 3,000 hits: the victims

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It shouldn’t take anyone more than a couple of guesses to figure out which pitcher Derek Jeter has the most of his 3,000 hits against.  It is, of course, the one pitcher who has has been on a rival AL East team for the entire duration of Jeter’s career.

Here are the 12 pitchers Jeter has at least 20 hits against:

1. Tim Wakefield – 34-for-130 – .279/.315/.402
2. Pedro Martinez – 29-for-107 – .271/.350/.439
3. Sidney Ponson – 29-for-81 – .358/.402/.580
4. Rodrigo Lopez – 26-for-61 – .426/.493/.672
5. Josh Beckett – 25-for-83 – .301/.358/.422
6. Jamie Moyer – 23-for-74 – .311/.354/.432
7. Aaron Sele – 23-for-72 – .319/.367/.403
8. Roy Halladay – 22-for-94 – .234/.294/.277
9. John Lackey – 21-for-72 – .292/.378/.417
9. Derek Lowe – 21-for-73 – .288/.342/.301
9. David Wells – 21-for-67 – .313/.324/.522
12. Curt Schilling – 20-for-68 – .294/.324/.397

Nine of the 12 pitched for the Red Sox, though Moyer was with Boston only briefly, going 7-1 for the team in 1996. Most of Jeter’s hits off him came while he was with the Mariners.

Some other notables:

Cliff Lee – 19-for-47 – .404/.462/.553
Johan Santana – 19-for-43 – .442/.478/.628
CC Sabathia – 13-for-29 – .448/.484/.552
Greg Maddux – 12-for-26 – .462/.500/.462
Hideo Nomo – 12-for-20 – .600/.680/.800

Jeter has fared quite well against some terrific hurlers.  It goes hand in hand with his strong postseason performance.  Jeter has an approach and swing that has tended to make him just as effective against great pitchers as he is against mediocrities.

Jeter has hit 1.000 against 78 different pitchers. Most of those are in one or two at-bats, of course, but he’s 4-for-4 against Dennys Reyes, Matt Riley (with two homers) and Bob Tewksbury. He’s also 5-for-6 against longtime teammate Ramiro Mendoza and 7-for-10 against Jeremy Sowers.

The most at-bats Jeter has against anyone without picking up a hit is 14. He’s 0-for-14 against former Orioles reliever Jorge Julio, 0-for-11 against Casey Janssen and 0-for-9 against Rick Porcello.

Among pitchers he’s faced a bit more, he’s fared particular poorly against Ricky Romero (2-for-20), Jered Weaver (3-for-23), John Smoltz (2-for-18) and Scott Kazmir (7-for-45).

His worst OPS against any pitcher, min. 20 at-bats, is Travis Harper (.374), followed by Danys Baez (.382), Joaquin Benoit (.399) and Jon Garland (.442).

The best, using the same min, is Nomo (1.480) followed by Eric Milton (1.342), Ervin Santana (1.284) and the late Joe Kennedy (1.253).

Struggling Francisco Rodriguez’s job seems to be secure

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Tigers closer Francisco Rodriguez continued to struggle on Thursday, allowing a run in a 2-1 loss to the Mariners. It’s the sixth time in nine appearances that the right-handed veteran has allowed a run, bumping his ERA up to 6.23. He’s blown two saves and has two losses on the year.

Despite that, it doesn’t sound like Rodriguez’s job as the Tigers’ closer is in any jeopardy, Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press reports. When asked how much of a leash Rodriguez has, manager Brad Ausmus said, “I’ll let you know.” Ausmus continued, “I think people have short memories. This guy did a pretty good job for us last year. Early on, people were worried because the velocity was down. Well, the velocity is back.”

“But at some point,” Ausmus said, “he does have to pitch the way he pitched last year, because he did an outstanding job for us last year and in a city that has been looking for a closer that was consistent for a long time, he was that.”

Rodriguez, 35, doesn’t have the stuff he once did. And the Tigers do appear to have someone who would be a better option in high-leverage situations. Lefty Justin Wilson has thrown 9 2/3 scoreless, hitless innings so far this season with 15 strikeouts and three walks. But for now, it sounds like Rodriguez will be free to work through his issues.

The Nationals are sad to be leaving Coors Field

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Don’t look now, but the Nationals have the best record in baseball at 16-6. They’re coming off a 10-game road trip in which they went 9-1, including sweeps of the Braves and Mets and a 3-1 series against the Rockies at Coors Field. During that series with the Rockies, the Nationals scored 46 runs, which is nearly as many as the Royals (54) have scored all season long. The Nats scored double-digits in all three wins.

The first game at Coors, an 8-4 loss, saw a three-hit game from Anthony Rendon and a homer from Ryan Zimmerman.

The second game featured Trea Turner hitting for the cycle and driving in seven runs. Daniel Murphy had three hits and five RBI.

The third game saw Turner finish a triple short of the cycle. Bryce Harper had four hits. Zimmerman had three hits including a homer. Murphy homered, too.

The fourth game featured homers from Adam Eaton, Harper, and Murphy. Seven members of the lineup had multiple hits and six had multiple RBI including pitcher Gio Gonzalez.

The series helped the Nationals bring their run differential to +34, the best in the National League. The Yankees are the only team with a better differential at +35.

Indeed, the Nationals are sad to be leaving Coors Field. They return home to open up a three-game set with the ailing Mets on Friday night.