Derek Jeter’s May 1 comeback projection was taken off the table yesterday, but last night Joe Girardi said it’s NOT a setback. David Waldstein of the New York Times reports:
“Sometimes I think you can take too many ground balls … They talked about lessening that load a little bit just because he was taking so many. Derek is such a creature of habit, to get him to break a cycle sometimes is difficult. He’s going to want to do as much as he can as soon as he can, so we’re just trying to make sure he doesn’t go too fast. But there was no setback.”
I have no doubt that Jeter is working his butt off to come back. But I gotta tell ya, I’m really not looking forward to the commentary about how Jeter is such a fierce competitor that he tried to out-work and out-Captain everyone in an effort to come back as soon as he can, which I presume is in the offing. If this really is a matter of him doing more than his body can handle faster than it can handle it, he’s not doing the Yankees or himself any favors. The best thing for everyone is that he come back when he’s ready to be 100%.
Angels DH Albert Pujols passed Mark McGwire for sole possession of 10th place on baseball’s all-time home run leaderboard, slugging his 584th career home run in the first inning of Wednesday night’s game against the Blue Jays.
Mike Trout had already slugged a solo home run off of Jays starter Marco Estrada to bring Pujols to the dish. Pujols jumped on an 0-1 cut fastball, sending it out to left-center field, clearing the fence by a few feet.
Pujols, who finished 4-for-4 with the homer and an RBI double, is batting .257/.321/.441 with 24 home runs and 99 RBI on the year. His next target on the home run leaderboard is Frank Robinson at 586.
Orioles closer Zach Britton had appeared in a major league record 43 consecutive games without allowing an earned run, spanning May 5 to August 22. That streak came to an end on Wednesday evening against the Nationals.
The Orioles entered the bottom of the ninth inning holding a 10-3 lead, but reliever Parker Bridwell immediately found himself in hot water. He yielded back-to-back singles to Danny Espinosa and Clint Robinson. He was able to strike out Trea Turner, but walked Jayson Werth to load the bases. Daniel Murphy then crushed his first career grand slam to make it a 10-7 game. That prompted manager Buck Showalter to bring in Britton.
Britton, too, was knocked around. He served up a single to Bryce Harper, followed by a double to Anthony Rendon that scored Harper, pushing the score to 10-8 and ending Britton’s streak. Wilson Ramos reached on a fielder’s choice back to Britton, but the lefty finally finished the game by getting Ryan Zimmerman to ground into a game-ending 4-6-3 double play.
Britton now holds a nice 0.69 ERA with 38 saves and a 61/16 K/BB ratio in 52 innings of work this season.