- Wallace Matthews, ESPNNewYork.com
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Call him Captain Calm.
Despite the fact the Yankees have played .441 ball since reaching their high-water mark -- a 57-34 record and 10 games ahead of the AL East -- on July 18, Derek Jeter says there's no reason for the Yankees to be concerned despite their 4-3 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays on Monday that shaved the lead to a slender one game over the Baltimore Orioles.
"Still got to have confidence," he said. "Unfortunately you can’t win every day. You’d like to – the approach is to win every day, but you’re going to go through highs and lows. You still have to have confidence, and we have a lot of confidence."
Jeter went 0-for-3 with a walk and has just four hits in his past 31 at-bats, a .129 batting average over the span. He seemed to be considering firing home on Evan Longoria's fifth-inning grounder but instead took the out at first, allowing the Rays to tie the game at 3-3.
"That would have been a tough one right there," Jeter said. "(B.J.) Upton can run. If you don’t get him, you’re looking at two guys on and still nobody out. In that situation, what was it, the fifth, I think? You’ve got to go for the out. If it's the eighth or ninth inning, maybe it's a different story."
Jeter acknowledged the atmosphere in the postgame clubhouse was solemn -- "Nobody in here likes to lose," he said -- but insisted that was not a sign the team was becoming discouraged by the current string of futility.
"Yeah, it's tough right now," he said. "But you can change it. We beat some teams early on, right? Baseball’s a funny game, a funny sport. Sometimes you struggle a bit, and then all of a sudden, things seem to change and you roll off a lot of wins. Hopefully we start that tomorrow. I'm not one to panic."
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