Derek Jeter came back yesterday. And had an OK day before leaving with an injury. And the team won. All, except for the injury of course, good things. Wallace Matthews thinks something else was going on, though. Something magical!
Jeter’s first trip to the plate was like a coronation … and his first trip around the bases was like a victory lap … And although Jeter’s contribution was modest … there was something different about the way his teammates went about their business on this day … Earlier this week, falling behind 3-0 in the first inning as the Yankees did Thursday would have meant facing certain defeat, but Jeter’s Yankee teams were never done in the first inning, and neither was this one.
The power of Jeter compels you, I guess.
Assignment to a beat writer: ask Yankees players why they try harder when Jeter is around than when he isn’t. See what they say.
Fresh off our “Manny Machado didn’t hustle” post, here’s one about him trying a little too hard. Machado was called for interference in the bottom of the fourth inning during Monday night’s NLCS Game 3 against the Brewers at Dodger Stadium. It was actually Machado’s second attempt to interfere with Orlando Arcia during the game.
In the bottom of the second, Machado led off with a single. Cody Bellinger followed up by hitting a grounder to second baseman Travis Shaw, who fed to Arcia. Machado slid towards Arcia enough to disrupt the play, allowing Bellinger to reach first base safely. The Brewers didn’t challenge, in part because Arcia didn’t attempt a throw.
Fast forward to the bottom of the fourth. Machado again leads off and again reaches base, this time with a walk. Bellinger hits another grounder. First baseman Jesús Aguilar snags the ball and fires to Arcia covering the second base bag. Machado slides into second base and reaches out with his right hand to mess with Arcia’s throw to first base. It succeeds, as Arcia’s throw skips past first base towards the dugout. Brewers manager Craig Counsell challenged the call, alleging slide interference (the “Chase Utley rule”). The umpires reviewed the play and agreed that Machado did indeed interfere with Arcia, so Bellinger was called out. What made Machado’s effort even worse is that Bellinger would’ve reached easily regardless, so there was no need to interfere with Arcia.
The Dodgers trail the Brewers 1-0 through the first half of the game. The Brewers got their run early thanks to an RBI double by Ryan Braun off of Walker Buehler in the top of the first. Jhoulys Chacín has pitched excellently for the Brewers thus far.