When Derek Jeter reached base on a fielder’s choice in the seventh inning I had a feeling this wasn’t the way it was going to end during his last game at Yankee Stadium. Sure it drove in a run, but it wasn’t a story book ending.
The Yankees had a 5-2 lead going into the ninth against the Orioles. Hiroki Kuroda was masterful, but Joe Girardi opted to bring in closer David Robertson. The normally reliable Robertson gave up home runs to Adam Jones and Steve Pearce. The game was tied 5-5.
Jeter was due up third in the bottom of the ninth.
Orioles manager Buck Showalter brought in Evan Meek. Jose Pirela led off the inning with a single. Brett Gardner sacrificed pinch runner Antoan Richardson to second.
Then up came Jeter.
First base was open. Showalter did not dare order Meek to put him on. Jeter hit Meek’s first pitch to favorite spot in right field for a walk off single. Meek might not have inherited the Earth, but he did give up the winning run.
The Yankees won 6-5.
Never have I cheered harder for Derek Jeter.
I tried to call my Dad, but couldn’t reach him. I wonder if he was at the game.
Jeter is doing post-game interviews. He is doing everything in his power to hold back the tears.
Tom Verducci asked him if he will play in Boston this weekend. Jeter says he probably won’t play short, but out of respect for Red Sox Nation said he “would play in some capacity.” My guess is he will either DH or pinch hit.
But I don’t blame him if he doesn’t take the field in Boston. He’s earned that much.
Let’s be honest. We Red Sox fans haven’t been too kind to Jeter, myself included. The fact that he respects us despite everything speaks volume of this Hall of Fame player and Hall of Fame man.