This is a thing because Jeter making a mental mistake on the field is a man-bites-dog kind of thing. But, really, all I can think while watching this mental gaffe by The Captain in last night’s Yankees-Mariners game is “if Yasiel Puig did this, the world would end.”
The situation: Kyle Seager hit a shallow pop up down the left-field line. Jeter — playing close to third on a shift — went after it, as did left fielder Brett Gardner. Gardner almost got it but it popped out of his glove. Jeter’s back was to the field and he apparently didn’t see the umpire signal that it was a fair ball, so he just jogged after it. As he did so, half the ballpark was yelling at him that it was fair. But the time he figured it out, Seager was at third base.
On a night when the Mariners put up a ten-spot it ultimately didn’t make a difference. And because it’s Derek Jeter, I suppose he gets a pass. But it does go to show you that everyone screws up sometimes.
The Red Sox and Mariners left nothing on the table Friday night, going head-to-head in a series opener that eventually ended 14-10 in the Sox’ favor. Led by Steven Wright and Wade LeBlanc — neither of whom made it past the fifth inning — the teams combined for 34 hits and four home runs, including two moonshots from Seattle’s Nelson Cruz and a five-run rally that gave Boston the edge in the seventh.
In the sixth inning, however, the Red Sox were still scrambling to make up a four-run deficit. Left fielder J.D. Martinez cut it in half with one swing, pouncing on an 89.5-mph fastball from Seattle right-hander Nick Vincent and posting it to dead center field for a two-run shot.
The 427-foot blast was Martinez’s 23rd of the season, tying Mike Trout for the most home runs in the league this year. While he still has a ways to go before eclipsing the career-best 45-HR mark he set in 2017, he’s off to a strong start this season: Entering Friday’s game, the 30-year-old slugger was batting .315/.386/.623 with a 1.009 OPS and AL-leading 55 RBI in 308 PA. He finished Friday’s game 4-for-5 with five RBI, just one triple shy of hitting for the cycle.
Heading into the All-Star Break, both Martinez and Trout still have some competition for the home run title. Jose Ramirez is sitting at 22 homers, while Nelson Cruz and Khris Davis are tied at 20 apiece.