That’s the actual headline of Terrence Moore’s latest column over at MLB.com. And it’s so timely too, because I was just telling some people how underrated and underappreciated Derek Jeter really is. It’s high time someone pointed out that:
- He’s good at a lot of different things;
- He’s good in October;
- He’s a consummate professional and is always friendly with the media;
- Despite dating movie stars and recording artists, he’s never been in a scandal;
And this sentence actually appears in the column, Non-ironically: “Jeter is equal parts Captain Clutch, Mr. November and the Ultimate Yankee.”
Moore is right, people. It’s high time we quit sleeping on Jeter and understood that he’s a good player who is probably going to the Hall of Fame someday if folks actually start appreciating that he’s a good baseball player.
Justin Verlander is approaching the tail end of a fantastic year with the Astros — arguably one of his best in the last decade — and on Saturday, he kicked off his last regular season start at Minute Maid Park with a strikeout, his 270th of the year. While that’s still a few shy of Max Scherzer‘s league-best mark of 290, it was a new personal record for Verlander, who had yet to beat the previous career record he set with 269 strikeouts in 2009.
Verlander’s moment arrived at the top of the first inning on a seven-pitch called strikeout against the Angels’ Kole Calhoun. Cole worked a 2-2 count, then fouled off a pair of 95-MPH fastballs before missing the seventh and final pitch at the top of the strike zone.
Jose Fernandez battled twice as long in the next at-bat, albeit with far more disastrous results. His 14-pitch duel against the Astros’ righty ended when he caught a fastball on his hand and was forced to come out of the game.
After expending a total of 27 pitches in the first inning, however, Verlander returned in the second to strike out the side, then logged another pair of strikeouts in the third. With six strikeouts through three innings, he boosted his season strikeout total to 275 — just a hair above fellow Houston righty Gerrit Cole (and all other AL pitchers), who previously led the team with 272 whiffs on the year.