When Derek Jeter was pulled for a pinch-runner in the sixth inning Saturday, the hope was the Yankees were just preserving him in a 12-6 game. However, FOXSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal reported three innings later that Jeter was taken out due to soreness around the ankle he broke in the postseason last year.
Jeter singled in a run in his final at-bat Saturday. The half-inning before, he fielded a grounder at short a little awkwardly and threw wide of the bag at first, giving Jonny Gomes a single (they don’t call errors on Jeter at Yankee Stadium).
Jeter was back at shortstop today after DHing last night. His status going forward is very uncertain at this point. Maybe he can DH, but it’s not like he’s much of an asset there. The Yankees would prefer to continue to rotate Alfonso Soriano and Curtis Granderson in that spot. Jeter has very little range at shortstop with his legs giving him so much trouble — he suffered setbacks with his quad and calf as he rehabbed the ankle — but given that the alternative is Eduardo Nunez, Jeter might still be the team’s best option when he’s able to play.
I hope you don’t have any plans tonight at around 10PM Eastern time, because that’s when we get a pitching matchup for the ages as Max Scherzer will take on Clayton Kershaw at Dodger Stadium. When they meet tonight it will be the first time two pitchers with three or more Cy Young Awards have matched up since 2006. That year, and in 2005 and 2000, Roger Clemens faced Greg Maddux. In 2001 Clemens faced Pedro Martinez.
Kershaw won his hardware in 2011, 2013 and 2014, with an MVP award in 2014 to boot. Scherzer collected trophies in 2013, 2016 and 2017. Each has started the 2018 season in Cy Young form. Kershaw is 1-2, but that record is due to poor run support. He has a 1.73 ERA and has struck out 31 batters and has walked only three in 26 innings. Scherzer is 3-1 with a 1.33 ERA and a whopping 38 strikeouts to only 4 walks in 27 innings.
This will be the third time that Kershaw and Scherzer faced each other if you include the playoffs. The first meeting was a decade ago when both were rookies. They most recently faced off in Game 1 of the 2016 NLDS, way back when Scherzer only had one Cy Young Award to his credit. Kershaw beat Scherzer in that playoff game and the Dodgers beat Scherzer’s teams in the two regular season matchups, with neither guy setting the world on fire. As so often happens in baseball, the hype hasn’t been matched by reality.
Still, there’s always a chance it will. And even if, in the end, this turns into a slugfest, the first couple of innings should at least give us some hope of something good. I’ll be watching.