Sunday, August 4, 2013
Postgame notes: Jeter a no-show
By Wallace Matthews
SAN DIEGO -- We all know how much Derek Jeter hates talking about injuries, especially his own, so it was hardly a surprise when, after the conclusion of the Yankees' 3-0 win over the Padres on Saturday night, El Capitan's locker was devoid of his belongings and the clubhouse was devoid of his presence.
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Which means that we never got to hear from the man himself how serious he believes the "right leg issues" that Joe Girardi cited as his reason for giving Jeter Saturday and Sunday off really are. Not that he would tell us all the much, anyway. His standard answer --"If I'm playing, I'm not hurt" -- pretty much says it all.
Because if you accept that, you must also accept the converse, that if Jeter is not playing, he is hurt.
After the game, Girardi said he could have used Jeter as a pinch hitter "if the situation had arose," and in fact, he did use one pinch hitter in the game, sending up the left-handed hitting Ichiro Suzuki to hit for Brent Lillibridge against right-handed reliever Nick Vincent. He also said he can use Jeter tomorrow to hit if need be.
Until we hear the scoop from Jeter, we'll have to take Girardi's word for it.
• Curtis Granderson won't even begin to pretend that he feels comfortable yet at the plate, not after having missed all but 10 of the 109 games of the season with two broken hands.
"I've still got to get reps, I've still got to get at-bats," Granderson said. "One at-bat felt better than the other. One at-bat felt not as good as the other. It's going to be a process."
To that end, Granderson took some extra work with hitting coach Kevin Long before the game, but until his third at-bat against Tyson Ross -- who retired the first 13 Yankees he faced and allowed just a single and a walk through the sixth inning -- Granderson looked as if the process might take a bit longer.
"It was scuffle there against Ross out there," Granderson said. "He had thrown really well against us. Then finally the third time around we were able to get just a little thing going with [Alfonso] Soriano getting the bloop there, and then finally to get a pitch that caught some of the plate."
The result was a familiar one, a blast into the right-field seats of the type Yankees fans had seen 84 times in Granderson's past two seasons, the most homers hit by any MLB player over that time. It was also, incredibly, just the fourth home run hit by a Yankee since play resumed after the All-Star break.
"Curtis can change the complexion of a game really quickly, and that’s what he did tonight," Girardi said. "It’s really nice to have him back for that."
• David Robertson pitched a reasonably clean eighth inning, allowing just a single to Chase Headley. And Mariano Rivera, making his first -- and possibly, last, depending upon what happens Sunday -- appearance at Petco Park, pitched an overpowering ninth, striking out Alexi Amarista to end the game as the crowd chanted "Ma-Ree-An-O!"
• The shutout was the Yankees' eighth of the season, one shy of their 2012 total. They have also been shut out nine times this season.